Friday, August 1, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 270)

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July, we hardly knew Ye! August you have come too quickly. Remember, when you are done with the blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my growing obsession with all things pickled, over to Conversion Diary.

Harvesting blather at a blistering pace.

1.
I spent more time in the basement this week with Tornado Warnings. Really, I didn’t have to go to the basement this many times in the entire 13 YEARS that I lived in OCK. What is the difference between the East side and the near West side that changes the whole Tornado warning thing.

Brecksville isn’t really East side or West side here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. We are actually sort of Switzerland in the scheme of things. Cleveland and it’s “East side or West side” thing was a total mystery to me for many years when I first moved here. If you lived on the East side you pretty much NEVER ventured over to someplace like Parma. You made fun of Parma. And if you lived on the West side you made fun of those on the East side.

That is why I like Brecksville. I can visit all sides and have diplomatic immunity. Parma? Fabulous. Shaker Heights? Love it.

I am not sure how I started out with Tornado warnings and ended up with the East side and West side of Cleveland. I am just clever that way.

2.
This week I solved…….

The Earring Mystery.

I am not the person who routinely vacuums out my car. That person would have been my father, for whom a slightly disheveled car interior was an affront to humanity. The pristine car gene was passed on to Pilot Man, not to me. I believe that I saw a months old Chick-fil-A waffle fry stuck between the seats recently.

But several weeks ago I took it upon myself to actually vacuum out Coco. It was about the time that I re-arranged the garage and got that all spic and span and I was in the mood so I dragged the shop vac over to Coco and went to town. The first thing that I always do when this unaccountable car vacuuming urge comes upon me is I take out all the car mats so that I can get to the carpet underneath. I also take my life in my hands and check in the fold of the seats just to be sure that someone hasn’t lost a $100 down there. You never know, it might happen.

Just as an aside on the whole car cleaning thing. My first official car was a Buick Regal. I have a picture of her somewhere, I can see it in my photo mind catalog….I just can’t find it on the computer at the moment. I affectionately called her the “Lean Mean Ghetto Machine”. She was a rather off putting shade of green and I owned her during nursing school when my dorm was located next to one of the more notorious projects in Dallas. She came to me through one of my father’s partners. He sold it to Dad for a whopping $1….and then we found .72 cents in the seats so really the car only cost us .28 cents.

But I digress.

SO, I was cleaning up and vacuuming and then I saw it

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Hmmmmmm, I knew this didn’t belong to me. So I sent the picture around to the progeny but they all denied owning it. It languished on a shelf for a bit until this week when I decided I just needed to pitch it out as I didn’t know who the owner was and I was tried of moving it when I gave into the wild urge to dust. But I took one last opportunity and put the picture up on FB just to see if the owner would speak up.

And Cousin Andrew said, “I think that belongs to Carrie.” Carrie is my niece. Andrew’s comment sparked the memory that when Carrie was visiting back in March she mentioned that one of her earrings, a favorite pair, was missing and had we seen it.

I am SO glad I didn’t just pitch the earring.

3.
I am not a watching TV during the day kind of person. If I sit down it will be to read or knit and listen to an audiobook. But yesterday I treated myself to watching something during the day. And I actually paid Amazon Prime $3.99 for the privilege.

I watched this…….

 I have been eagerly (a mild way of putting it) anticipating this documentary from the time that I first read about the discovery of Vivian Maier’s body of work. The documentary did not disappoint. I have the video available to view for 24 more hours and I will watch it again today, perhaps.

Amazing. If you have Amazon Prime go and watch the documentary.

4.
I have mentioned before that almost every day I write a short, coffee themed poem that then goes up on FB and Twitter. This craziness has been going on since I turned 50 years old….4 years ago. I am on the Elixir of Life poem train and I cannot seem to get off of it.

I have a database that contains all the poems, chronologically.

Yes, I am that much of a nerd thankyouverymuch.

There is just one problem. The last 12 months have been a bit hectic around here. Selling a house, marrying off a daughter, moving, death of parent, relatively new business. And one of the things that just sort of fell by the wayside was my daily entering of the Elixir poem in the database.

For an entire year.

That is my task today. To go back and find all those poems on FB and enter them in the database. Thank goodness for audiobooks to keep me company in this tedium.

And please remind me to daily put the poem in the database!!!

5.
I mentioned last week that HHBL and I were going to be volunteering in the Cleveland Metroparks booth at Burning River Fest. Fun! I have more pictures with Big Bertha that I haven’t had time to process but I thought I would give you a taste with the iPhone photos

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I taught Diana a quick lesson on “The Selfie” since she had never taken one.

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Yes, I believe I will have a lovely glass full of Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

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I just have no Earthly clue. There were an entire group of people dressed in green long johns and walking around with frogs like this one, or acting like frogs themselves……..the frog hats were particularly ummmmmmm fetching.

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Of course we had to have our picture taken in the “Water Taxi”. We were promoting the thing after all. Diana had never used an iPhone to take a picture before so she actually took our picture about 8 times because she wasn’t sure that the camera had actually worked.

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The Coast Guard was having a good old time stopping boats to check for alcohol. This unfortunate sailor had his boat towed to shore. They boarded him, searched the boat, had everyone take a breathalizer and then bye bye.

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I love Cleveland.

6.
I am learning the ropes at church for the Wedding Coordinator program. It is really “on the job training” because they tell you, “Make sure you shadow a wedding or two first.” No day long training. No this is what you do.

Lordy.

And every time I think I have learned what needs to be learned I then sit in on a bride meeting with a more “senior” wedding coordinator and I find that I know nothing, or even LESS than nothing.

That was the case yesterday. I just sat there and soaked it all in like a sponge. And I thought, as I sat there, “Dang, I love this.”

7.
Here is the weekly Instagram roundup of insanity
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

What Are The Symptoms?

I am a creature of habit. I may have some strange habits but they are mine.

Everyday my alarm goes off at 5:45a. I roll over, turn it off and ignore it.

Then HHBL’s alarm goes off about 6a and I get up because I have this insane need to get up first. I must be first into the bathroom.

No, I am not competitive. Why do you ask?

I get up. I grab my phone. I trudge into el banyo, grabbing my glasses so that I can actually see the screen on my phone and I sit done on the royal throne to take care of stuff. Every day the same. Everyone checks their email on their phone as they pee first thing in the morning right?

Never mind.

This morning was just the same as every other morning. 5:55a I am up and in the bafuni (bathroom in Swahili….I think) and doing my thing. I pee, I read emails, then I put my phone on the set of shelves that sit right by the porcelain bus to keep it safe from accidentally taking a swim and as I am stretching my right arm out…………I see it.

Whastha? my sleepy little cranium asks. It is like some sort of round black thing stuck to my right forearm. I touch it with my finger. It is not all that big, about the size of end of a used pencil. It is hard. It is black.

I flick it a bit with my finger nail but it stays in place. Guys I am freaking myself out right now as I write this.

I flick a bit harder and it flips off my arm and onto the floor. I look down between my feet…..

And that black dot is moving just a bit.

SHIT BALLS!! (sorry).

I did not scream because I was too freaked out. Sort of like in a dream where you know you want to scream. You are trying to scream and yet nothing comes out. Yeah, just like that. When I had finished with the whole morning routine I grabbed a tissue and picked up the small, black dot of a thing to take a closer look.

Larissa, have you guessed what it is yet???

It was……a very live tick.

HolycowHolycowHolycowHolycowHolycow. Did it bite me????? There is a spot on my arm!!! Did that come from the creature or from me flicking it off me. What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease? How fast do they appear?

AAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

A TICK!!!!!!!!!!!!

The question is where did he come from, other than outside obviously, and how did he get inside. The possibility is that he might have hitched a ride in on Max the Magnificent but I am not sure that is the case. I don’t roll around in the grass all that much these days and I haven’t been tromping in the woods in recent memory. And the even more disturbing thought is that he was on my arm for who knows how long

AS I SLEPT!!!!!!!!!

Obviously the sheets are being washed even as we speak. And I have cleaned the bedroom to within and inch of it’s life. Sort of same reaction that I had when I looked down at Cartoon Girl’s lovely long hair when she was in Kindergarten and realized that she had a raging case of lice. How fast and how thoroughly can you clean a room.

I may never be able to sleep again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Love Abelmoschus esculentus Moench

I love pickles. Have I mentioned that to you lately.

I. Love. Pickles.

Sweet or sour, it matters not. I love just about anything that is pickled. Brussels sprouts? Bring it on. Cucumbers? I am so there. Chow Chow? Where is my fork. Watermelon rind? Get out of my way while I belly up to the table. Beets? They are all mine.

But there is one kind of pickle that is more than a bit difficult to find around here. Oh, it can be found lurking on grocery store shelves, if you look closely. But here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio people look at you funny when you ask if they carry them.

What are these little spears of sheer bliss?

Okra pickles.

No, no, don’t run away screaming into the night. Don’t say to yourself, “How can she eat those slimy things??” Be of good cheer and get out the fixings for Bloody Marys.

Pickled okra is a beautiful thing.

I will admit that the first time I tried okra of any sort……I was unimpressed. It was cooked okra that had been what I can only describe as stewed with tomatoes and perhaps onions. Okra, when cut into pieces and then cooked oozes slime. Slime somewhat reminiscent of what happens when I step, ever so gleefully, on a slug.

I sort of feel nauseous all of a sudden……

At any rate, okra oozes slime. That is what makes okra such a wonderful and thickening addition to gumbo. A bit of a roux and a bunch of okra and you are good to go. But to eat okra stewed with tomatoes?

No.

Deep fried okra is another dish that is tasty tasty tasty. I first encountered that particular dish perhaps my second Sunday in college when we finagled a ride to the local Luby’s cafĂ©. Who would think that people would gladly stand in line for perhaps as long as 60 minutes on a Sunday, in your high heels, in order for little ladies with blue hair in hair nets to shoot you along the line, passing your plate along from one set of hands to the next all the while saying, “Hep you? Hep you? Hep you?” I had no idea what all this Southern food was and I think one of them finally took pity on me and dished me up green beans cooked until almost mush with bacon in them, fried fish, mashed taters and gravy, a biscuit and a dish of these funny little nuggets of something fried. I tried them with trepidation……and the angels sang.

That is pretty much all I thought you could do with okra until one day someone passed a jar under my nose and said, “Eat one of these.” I looked at the contents in horror and very politely declined. Okra could not possibly be made into pickles. But, after some strong arming I acquiesced to tasting one of them…..

Oh my stars and garters and all the saints in heaven. Give me that jar, these are all mine. Who wouldn’t want to eat little fuzzy spears of pickley goodness.

I do try to keep my pickle obsession somewhat in check. Pickles after all are by their very nature….salty. Even the sweet ones have salt in them. The dill pickles that I made two years ago, and of which I have only one jar left, have a saline punch similar to what you might get if you stuck your face in the Dead Sea and took a slurp. They are fabulous. I just made a new batch yesterday, the first of the season. They are now resting safely in the basement where they must stay for at least a month.

I have been slowly if steadily eating away at the last couple of jars of my chowchow. HHBL doesn’t eat “those things” in the frig

Why do I tell you my love of okra pickles?

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These will be pickles

I made my first ever batch of okra pickles today. Only two pints as it was dastardly difficult to even find okra around here. I went to 5 places before I finally found a small bin of not that particularly fresh okra that I picked over until I found enough to make two pints. They now mush rest and be happy and pickly for a bit. One of the pints didn’t seal. No happy POP! that you hear when the lid snaps down and you know the waterbath has been successful. That’s OK.

That just means that jar will be the first one that I open sometime in the next two weeks. If they taste even half way heavenly delicious I will be making more.

Who wants to make Bloody Mary’s??

Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 269)

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Here we are, almost August, and I am not sure where July went. Someone stop the Merry Go Round I want to get off. You know your top secret mission. When the blather here starts to self destruct you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my dwindling supply of sock yarn (I only have 41 skeins left!!!!) over to Sverella, who is hosting this week.

I blather because I can.

1.
I would just like to report that despite not looking all that beautiful, the desserts made with the chocolate bowls that I attempted to make yesterday were consumed with great gusto. I filled them with a no bake cream cheese recipe and then topped them with buttered graham cracker crumbs and sprinkled raspberries over them.

I am making myself hungry just writing that.

I will continue with making these. I HATE not knowing how to do something or having something not come out when I know that it should. These cannot be that difficult to do.

2.
HHBL and I have had a resurgence of the cough that came with the plague that we were inflicted with a number of weeks ago. And to make it extra special my voice has also gone back to a lovely, croaky bass. I am thinking to go for an audition to sing basso profundo for the Cleveland Orchestra. That is if I could sing at all….which at the moment I cannot.

This really is a very annoying illness and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Well…….there are a few people.

3.
I have been able to half cross off something from my Bucket List. I will tell you why I count this as only “half” in a minute.

So, last weekend HHBL and I did a whirlwind 30 hour trip out of town. We drove up to Buffalo, NY to visit HHBL’s brother, Kidney Doc. We stayed overnight, hung out with our younger nephew,

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Skyped with our older nephew, who happens to be doing some traveling in South America at the moment. It was his 23 birthday on Saturday so of course we had to say Happy Birthday. We ate Thai food and talked. Kidney Doc made me coffee in the morning that was strong enough to strip paint. Excellent. And then we were off to our next stop.

The Chautauqua Institute.

Guys, I have ALWAYS wanted to visit the Chautauqua Institute. It is not all that far from Chez Knit, a bit less than a 2 hour drive, but we had just never been there. We used to drive by it on our way to and from taken the progeny to summer camp and I would look longingly at it. We have some friends who own a house on the grounds of Chautauqua and they had been asking for us to come and visit and have lunch and walk around and take in the awesomeness.

We are SO TOTALLY going back. It was a Sunday so that meant that you can enter the institute during a certain period of time without having to have the little neck lanyard that tells people you belong. The place was full of people and kids were running around and having fun. We had a fabulous lunch. THANKS Bill and Debbie! We walked for 90 minutes all over the campus and down to the lake and looked at all the fabulous houses and listened to part of a choir concert and……I am determined that someday soon HHBL and I are going to rent a condo or a room or a broom closet for a week so we can take it all in.

That is why I tell you that it was only half crossed off of the list, because I need to go back for longer.

Oh, and I SO want to do this to the toilet lid in my office…..
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Deb is an artist and when they renovated their house she painted all the tiles that were used and painted the walls and even painted a fabulous rug on the kitchen floor. And the toilet lid was the capper.

4.
In many ways I am a creature of habit. I go to bed at the same time. I make my coffee in exactly the same way every morning, right down to how many seconds I let the coffee grinder run. It makes my world run smoother that way.

So it is a great upheaval when HHBL and I have to switch cars, like we had to do yesterday. He needed to take Coco to the office so that on the way home he could pick up his new bike. That left me with the Prius to drive if I had to go somewhere. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere but then I had that harebrained idea about the chocolate balloon cups so I had to go to the store. I could have walked to the store but I am glad that I didn’t because the closer grocery store didn’t even carry balloons. So I had to go other places and that required the Prius.

But every time I end up driving HHBL’s car I forget one simple thing….how to successfully start the darn thing. You don’t even have to put a key into any ignition, you only have to push the big button that says “On” or “Start” or something. I get in. I fasten my seatbelt. I push the button…..some of the screens come on but…..it still hasn’t actually started. Why is it not working. Darn car! Every single time I always forget……

I must depress the brake pedal before I hit the “On” button or everything is a no go.

Thank goodness all this happened in the safety and anonymity of my garage.

5.
Cleveland in the summer is a fabulous place to be. There are so many things to do that you just can’t get to them all. We Clevelanders need to make up for the fact that the winter months are so jolly horrible that we pack the better months with good things.

Tonight HHBL and I are going to Burning River Fest. And the extra fun thing is that we aren’t just going to the fest, we are helping to man the booth for the Cleveland Metroparks. I am so excited. I get to hang with one of my favorite people (other than HHBL of course).

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This is Diane and she is the director of a place called Cogswell Hall. Cogswell is one of the most amazing places in Cleveland, helping the homeless with dignity and compassion. Diane makes me laugh. I hope I make her laugh because this is not a very flattering picture of her but it is all that I have. She will forgive me….I hope.

Oh! And I also get a tee shirt. HHBL mentioned the word tee shirt in connection with the volunteering and I was so stupidly excited.

And to make the things EXTRA special there is food and beer. Great Lakes Brewing beer. I am trying to contain my excitement and the evening to come.

I am a strange bird.

6.
Because I am a creature of habit ( see #4) I purchase my annual orgy of sweet corn from the same vendor. He is about half way between OCK and Chez Knit. Starting earlier this week he had his “Sweet Corn” sign out but every time I managed to drive by he would be sold out for the day. I would not dream of buying sweet corn from anyone else. He picks it in the morning and it is all gone by afternoon.

Today I managed to arrive just as he was finishing getting all the bags of corn out of his pickup truck. The ears were still wet with the dew from the morning and chilly from the temps last night.

I bought 2 dozen ears….which actually equals 26 ears because he always makes it a baker’s dozen.

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All ready to be put in containers and stuck in the freezer. I would not even contemplate buying frozen corn from the store when I can have these little nuggets of goodness in my Turkey Corn Chowder on a cold January day.

And now I have to wash my floor because this corn is really sweet and sticky and I was a tad messy.

7.
Instagram…..because I am just too lazy to write anything else.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Well That Looks Easy…..

Famous last words.

We have company coming for dessert this evening. It is our Pre-Marital mentoring couple and I always make dessert. I had been thinking about what I wanted to make for after our discussion. I had been pondering.

And then I remembered this little video

That looks easy, I thought to myself. I will make the bowls, fill them with some cheesecake like substance, sprinkle the top with graham cracker crumb stuff and call it a day. Easy peasy cheesecake squeezy.

Famous. Last. Words.

It took me two places to even find balloons. And then the balloons were bigger ones that in the movie. But I pressed on. I am not going to be overcome by no stinkin’ balloons. I will just not blow them up so much.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

I pulled out my chocolate chips, of which I have a large supply. Or I did until this little experiment. Then I hit the first hurdle. Chocolate chips really should be melted gently in a double boiler. Yes, you can do them in the microwave but it doesn’t take all that long to go from melted to seized up mass of chocolate that is good for nothing but dumping in the garbage. However, in my cleaning out zeal….I seem to have gotten rid of the smallerish metal bowl that I used as the top part of my double boiler.

NO fear, I just improvised another, antique ceramic bowl and we were good to go.

I covered the sheet pan with parchment paper. I blew up the balloons. I waited for the chocolate to be melted. Soon it was ready. I had watched the video once several times and figured that I had it down cold. It is just dipping balloons in melted chocolate.

How hard can it be?

Harder than you think.

I had done four of the balloons and turned around to wipe up my counter when….

BOOM!

I turned around and one of the newly covered balloons had let go with great gusto, splattering liquid chocolate all over the place. Lovely. Never one to give up a good fight I just looked sternly at the other balloons and dared them to do that. They decided not to and I then moved the pan out into the living room to cool down and harden….which they didn’t seem to want to do. I know this because I tested, but putting a hole in one of the balloons, which didn’t blow up just slowly lost all it’s air and collapsed, causing the not at all hardened chocolate cup to collapse as well.

Fartburgers!

Never fear, I had started early enough in the day that I just took the whole pan downstairs and put it in the other frig to firm up. 30 minutes later, lovely firmed up chocolate. Time to burst the balloon! I go and get a pin…..I carefully but forcefully stab the balloon……

NO ka-boom. Only the slow hiss of air leaving the balloon. Grrrrrrrr. I picked myself up and dusted off my cranium and thought, “I will just peel the balloon away from the chocolate and everything will be fine.”

Ummmmmm, no.

The balloon and the chocolate seemed to have formed an unbreakable bond. Oh I could peel it alright but the edges would break and crack and peel. Sometimes the whole thing would just refuse to be parted

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Dagnabbit!

Sure that is what I said. I don’t know why you doubt me.

After the third such balloon revolte I threw up my hands and decided that I had to rethink this. What would make the chocolate release a bit better from the balloon? I will try coating the balloon with corn starch. That’s the ticket!

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So I blew up five more balloons (just in case), threw all the chocolate that I had already melted once plus more chips back into my do it yourself double boiler and repeated the whole process.

Hope sprigs eternal.

And it didn’t do much better the second time.

AND I was directly in the line of fire when one of the balloons gave way…..

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SON OF A FLYING FIG ON TOAST!

I did manage to get the four chocolate cups somewhat peeled back from the balloons but it required putting them in the freezer for a time. They are definitely NOT works of art. I filled them with cheesecake mixture and topped them with graham cracker crumbs.

We are going to eat these, dammit, I don’t care HOW they look.

Every Tom, Dick and Henrietta on YouTube seems to be able to manage these. I have a college degree and above average intelligence.

I will conquer these.

But now I have to go and wash my clothes….and clean the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another Strange Obsession

I should most likely say that this post has absolutely nothing to do with the crash of MH17. That is a horrific situation that can have no humor attached to it.

This is not about that.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way so that I do not get angry emails…not that I ever do get angry emails, but if I did then this would hopefully forestall that.

Where was I? Oh yes, I remember.

Everyone likes to read about plane crashes don’t they? I cannot be the only one who will sit, with rapt attention, through all the episodes of “Air Disasters”, right?

Right?

Hello?

Fine, I will start with a short story. Many years ago in a house far, far away. Well, not that far away actually but in the scheme of my life it was two houses ago. As I was saying, many years ago when the progeny were little they were not given unlimited access to any kind of screen time. They are old enough that when they were growing up “screen time” meant sitting in front of the TV. We had a computer but no one would have thought that you could use it for anything other than work. Windows hadn’t been invented yet.

I think I rabbit trailed there. Anyhoo…..

The progeny had an hour of TV watching a day. This meant that even if you were in the same room with the TV on but it wasn’t the show you wanted to watch but you just happened to be, inadvertently of course, piggybacking onto your sister’s show but you REALLY weren’t paying attention, HONEST…..your hour of TV had been used up.

Go out and play in the dirt.

Sure you can have a hammer and nails. Just don’t nail your sister to the garage wall and no one had better get ANY blood on their clothes.

But that one hour a day did not include movies, or at least some movies. If it was a musical, no problem. You can watch The King and I till the cows come home, if we had any cows that is. I used to sing “Part of Your World” in my sleep they watched The Little Mermaid so often. If it had Charlton Heston in it, you were good to go. Ah Charleton Heston, how we loved him.

Parting the sea in The Ten Commandments, “Behold His mighty hand!”

Driving a chariot in Ben Hur, “Your eyes are full of hate, 41. That’s good.”

Running a circus in The Greatest Show on Earth, “Your veins are full of sawdust!”

If a movie had Charleton Heston in it then most likely I let them watch it. Well all except for maybe Touch of Evil. That movie even creeps me out. But most anything else with CH in it was a thumbs up.

And that is how, in 1992 we first encountered the movie Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232. Just a little made for TV movie with CH, Richard Thomas, James Coburn and a cast of other TV actors telling the story of the 1989 crash of United Airlines 232 in Sioux City, IA in 1989. For some reason, when it was on the TV for the first time, I hit the record button on the VCR and recorded that movie. And a cult following was born. They watched that tape over and over and over again. I watched that tape over and over and over again right along with them. We were so attached to that particular tape that when HHBL had a short, two day business trip to Rochester, NY and all of us went along  because there was a pool at the hotel, I took that tape along with us (because they wouldn’t be separated from it even for two days) and watched it in the VCR that the hotel so kindly let us rent from them.

And then when we went home……I left it at the hotel in the VCR.

I didn’t think that we would survive the horrible upheaval that happened when it was discovered that the tape had been left at the hotel. Wailing and gnashing of teeth! Rending of clothes! Weeping and moaning. I called the hotel as soon as the loss was discovered but by that time the tape was no where to be found.

We went into deep mourning. No more Charleton Heston playing Capt. Al Haynes saying the immortal lines, “This is the hottest damn tricycle in the world!” and “Pull up…pull up…too fast….too fast…!” Would we ever get over the loss? Slowly life returned to normal. The girls got older. We continued to spout odd lines of movie dialogue and when it happened to be from that particular movie we had a moment of silence.

And then I discovered Amazon.

This was still back in the days of….dial up service. Remember a time when it took 30 seconds or more for a page to load? But Amazon was just the most amazing thing. It was mostly books and VHS tapes back then. I was noodling around on day and typed in “Rescue of Flight 232”, which was always what WE had called the movie….and a page loaded with a movie called “A Thousand Heros”……..it was our movie. So what if the only place it shipped from was Australia. I ordered it, once I figured out how to do it.

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This is it. In VHS form only because it is impossible to find it on DVD. Or at least impossible to find it on DVD in a format that will play in the US. We have no VHS player here at Chez Knit but that doesn’t matter. I still kept it just in case. It was my only link. There was no DVD available.

Or at least that is what I thought……until today.

a thousand heros

For the love of Peter, Paul and Elvis Presley! It DOES exist on DVD.

Oh thank you thank you thank you YouTube. I was watching a clip or two from the movie, just to relive old times you know. Like having coffee with an old and dear friend that is parted from you. Too strong? OK, I had a few minutes and thought I would indulge. And as I was watching the plane crash sequence for the 1000th time I noticed that the clip had been uploaded by something called Classic Movies….so I clicked on the link, hoping against all hope that they could help me. I mean, if AMAZON didn’t have what I wanted how could anyone else help me (insert sarcasm here).

And there it was. The DVD version of A Thousand Heroes for the reasonable price of $14.95. I couldn’t get my credit card out fast enough. Oh postal service work your magic. Bring my DVD soon.

Why am I waxing rhapsodic about an idiotic movie about a plane crash that happened 25 years ago…..July 19th, 1989. Yes, do the math. That would be 25 years ago this past Saturday.

And while I am dogging the mailbox for my DVD I will read this…….

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I was first on the waiting list at the library. The book even smells new.

Obsessed? Who is obsessed.

I just like a good story.

Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 268)

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Don’t make me come over there and tell you what the rules are. You should know them by now. When you have finished here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my craving for a BLT with my own tomatoes, over to Conversion Diary.

A field full of blather just waiting to be plowed under.

1.
I am again obsessed with making Box bags. You know what those are, right?

Bags, shaped like a box, with a zipper on the top and sewn out of fabric. Usually they have an outer layer and a lining. I have made them before and they are very satisfying except…. most of the patterns that I had been able to find were made so that the inner lining had seams that were visible.

Visible seams bug me. They just make the bag look somehow unfinished to me. But thanks to the internetz I have found a lined box bag tutorial….and I am again obsessed with making them out of some of the vintage fabrics that I have been collecting.

But…..the pattern that I found made a bag that was a bit small for my usual knitting needs. How hard can it be to make a bigger bag, I thought to myself.

Harder than you think.

I had to do math.

I hate math.

The bigger bags turned out cute but sort of flat.

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See what I mean. The bag in front is the littlest one and it’s proportions are pleasing. But the other two bags, even though I like them, are a bit on the “not tall enough” vein. I was stumped.

And then I realized that there was one measurement that I hadn’t changed when I did all the maths for the other measurements. The corners. Duh!

So this afternoon I will make another box bag with different corner sewing dimensions. Let’s hope for the best.

2.
I stopped at the library today to pick up a book that came in.

There was a book sale……..

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I couldn’t help myself.

But that isn’t what I want to rant about for a second…….I want to rant about these people……

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Ignore the lady in the bright blue shirt, she was just doing what the rest of us were doing, perusing the boxes of books. No, the people that really chap my shorts are the ones with those little hand held scanners, or scanners that are plugged right into their phones. When I counted there were SIX of these people in this small room, scanning away and pulling books out of the boxes and putting them in bags that they had stacked up in corners or under the tables. Do you know what they are doing? They are scanning the books to see what the price is. When they find one that they “might” want they take it out, put it in their bag and then just keep it there until they are all done. THEN they go back through and weed out the books that they actually don’t want and leave them in messy piles here and there. Then they take what they do want, pay for them and then resell them for a higher price. But they do not want you to KNOW that that is what they are doing. I overheard a conversation between a legitimate person just shopping and the woman in the top photo who was scanning every book. The scan woman went out of her way NOT to actually tell the other woman what she was doing. I want to be clear on this, I don’t have any problem with these people coming in and buying books from the sale. Whoever buys the books benefits the library. What I do have trouble with is the fact that they don’t buy all the books that they cull out and while they have those books squirreled away the books are not available to those who might want to actually buy them. AND they make a mess that has to be straightened out by the people running the book sale.

Pantpantpantpant.

Getting down off my soap box now.

I need a cookie.

3.
After the library I had to run over to Office Max to buy a new mouse for my computer. That is boring and not really worth mentioning except for the fact that I stopped at five garage sales on the way back and managed to NOT buy a thing.

Patting myself on the back.

I am amazed at what some people think they might get for something at a garage sale. Lower the prices folks, it is a garage sale.

I was only tempted once, by these…..

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Two Blue Willow chop plates. But I already have 12 of these and I do not need any more of them, despite the nice ladies who were running the sale trying to talk me into them.

I walked away empty handed.

I think I DESERVE a cookie.

4.
Remember this photo from last week….

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My what to ME seems like an egregiously cluttered garage that made me crazy every time I pulled in or out of it….

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In the last week HHBL has sold two bikes and a bike rack on Craigslist. He is totally in love with Craigslist now and already has a list of other things that he is hoping to divest us of.

Operation Clean out continues.

5.
The next place that I am going to start “re-organizing” is the small area in the basement that holds my motley assortment of tools. It is not a happy place for me right now because I have screw drivers mixed in with hammers that are hanging out with wire cutters that are swinging with needle nosed pliers.

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It is a veritable tool box swingers club going on in there…..

I want one of these……

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I want one bad. Look at all those lovely drawers to store things like tools and drills and measuring tapes in. My heart pitter patters faster just thinking about it.

But I have to save up the money first. I have been keeping an eye out for something on the afore mentioned Craigslist but there hasn’t been anything that was any cheaper than what I could buy new.

Sigh, patience is good for me. Patience is good for me.

6.
I realized this week when I was scanning photos…..

I really need to spend some time cleaning up and cleaning out some of the photos that are currently residing on my hard drive. I have a bunch of duplicates of things and there was a certain time in my photography life where I couldn’t bear to delete any photo that I had taken.

Case in point, this photo……

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Auntie Poo trying to make Traveler play the little piano.

Or at least I THINK that is what was supposed to be happening. The photo does not convey that and yet it still resides on the hard drive.

Massive photo clean up and out shall be put on the list of things to do over the winter. It is just too nice right now to be stuck in the basement culling photos.

7.
Instagram, how I love thee. Let me count the photos.
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