May 2010


Today’s translation of “random” post: “Hey, look! Pictures!”

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Mel, wondering why I kept shining lights in his face. (Mostly the autofocus thingy.)

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Oscar, one of the cats I’m co-catsitting for Min.

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Oscar again.

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Felix, Min’s other cat.

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Felix “pretending to be cute”, as Min put it.

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Mel, far enough away from the camera that it’s not disturbing him. (This was a couple of weeks ago, when it was cooler.)

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Knitting! I’m making good progress on my sunflower shawl, thanks to the knitters’ housewarming I attended on Saturday and the Momix show I attended on Sunday. (Yes, it’s tricky to knit lace in a dark theater, but I only made one mistake. And I was exhausted, so the fidgeting helped counteract the darkness-with-soothing-music. It helped that I was on the aisle, so I could use the emergency lights in the stairs to read my (backlit) stitches.)  Please pretend I vacuumed before taking that photo.  I meant to, but I couldn’t bear to disturb Mel, who was napping peacefully a couple feet away.

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And on my way to Min’s yesterday evening, I stopped at the pet-supply store, mostly to ask about the cat-for-adoption (from a local rescue org) whom I hadn’t seen recently (he’s been adopted, and seems to have taken to his new family quite nicely).  I wound up chatting with the storekeeper, though, because she asked about my Mirah shirt, and whether it meant I was going to Mirah’s show at the Unitarian Church next month.  I’ve now checked the R5 show listings, and I’ve found two I want to attend: Mirah, even though she’ll be here the Monday after I move, and Stars.  I’m sorta happy and sorta frustrated, since I haven’t had lots of spare energy lately even without concerts…  (Also, I wish they were at World Cafe Live instead of the Church.  I like being able to sit at shows–it means I can see better, and it means I can knit more easily.  And WCL has better (i.e., palpable) air conditioning.)

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From Wednesday’s walk home.

Bonus knitting picture:

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I’ve finished my sample-knitting and am back to knitting with handspun. Super-cheery sunflower handspun from last summer’s Tour de Fleece, fiber from the previous November’s Spunky Club Swa(m)p. I started with some stockinette, but I’ve switched over to the main pattern from the Little Arrowhead Shawl; I plan to start the border pattern just about where the yarn turns red. (I can see some orangey yellow peeking out of the ball of yarn now that I’ve knit a few more rows than are pictured here. Color changes are fun.)

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These are from last Friday. (It’s been overcast or raining for much of this week.) Roses aren’t in my list of very favorite flowers, but there are so many of them blooming right now that I keep stopping, struck by the sudden burst of fragrance. It makes walking to work more fun.

Not that I often do think of clever titles…

Part I: Spinning Update (with mention of knitting)

I spent a fair chunk of yesterday afternoon plying smallish bits, and I’ve spent much of my at-home spinning time on plying, so I have a good-sized pile of yarn to wash tonight:

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I’ve also got a lot more plying to do–silk, merino/silk blends, merino/silk with cashmere/silk unless I change my mind soon, all those orangey AbbyBatts (hmm, still have to wind those, too), and some oatmeal BFL:

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I’m also nearly done with the first half of the Blaze batts (Southern Cross Fibre) that a very nice person gave away at the spinning retreat last month; they’ve been my wandering-around spindle project. Knitting-wise, I’m substantially closer to finishing the sample knitting project I’ve been working on since I finished Springtime Bandit. And I think I’ve picked a project for my Good Fortune yarn. Hey, I don’t think I put a good picture of it here, so maybe I should do that now.

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Part II: Friday evening

Friday evening was great. Also highly unusual for me. (I tend to be tired on Fridays and just want to chill with Mel and maybe some knitting or spinning.) Instead, I used my postponed ticket from February to see Sweet Honey in the Rock. They were, as always, amazing–they’re on my fairly short list of Performers To See Whenever Possible, along with Bobby McFerrin, Anonymous 4, Pilobilus, and Momix. And many thanks to the sound-engineer types at the Kimmel Center on Friday, whether it was the guy with Sweet Honey or local staff–I didn’t need my earplugs. It got a little close during a couple of songs, but it is so nice to be able to hear the occasional (excellent) concert without earplugs…and without pain, too.

And then I went off to a book-swap-and-games party that wound up also including some shape-note singing, so I got to sing, and I came home with a few books, and I got to see several people I hadn’t hung out with in months. (I even called a West Coast friend on my way home, so I got to talk with her for the first time in months, too. Very good evening, even though I wound up staying up freakishly late for not being stuck in a book.)

Part III: Maryland Sheep & Wool

I just went for Sunday this year, since I have too much stuff going on in Philly (both work and housework and prep for moving next month–gah!) to spend more time away, but I had a lovely day of it. K. picked me up at 7:45, with her daughters; I got to knit in the car while she drove, which worked out nicely for me. I have a lot of fiber, and this whole moving thing means I’m in a trying to get rid of stuff phase. So…I bought 6 ounces of fiber (one of which is in that picture at the top), got my travelling Bossie fixed, bought a spindle for Min, and took a bunch of pictures of sheep. (And hung out with excellent fiber people, which is always fun.)

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That poor Scottish Blackface sheep was really, really not enjoying the weather. (I wasn’t, either, and I wasn’t wearing wool…)

All righty! Mostly caught up! This is nice.

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All of these are from yesterday afternoon.

Your card is the first one I got. I was home from college, sorting through the huge pile of credit card offers that was typical ten years ago. First, I tossed all the ones with promotions like “cash back, if you carry a balance”. Then I picked your offer because the card design was prettiest.

I’ve been generally happy with you. You keep offering extra (paid) services, but I figure most cards do that, and I never sign up for them. You have a more customer-friendly online-payment setup than the other card I use–I like that you credit online payments on the day of payment rather than three days later.

However! I just got a notice from you, congratulating me on being upgraded to a rewards card, as “[y]our way of rewarding [me] for being such a valued customer”. This upgrade comes with a $49 annual fee, assessed “in part on the limited use of [my] account”. You’re my primary credit card. My other card is a rewards card, with no fee, but I find their delay-of-payment thing sufficiently underhanded that I don’t use it as much. I’m also led to wonder what makes me “such a valued customer” if you think my use of your card is “limited”. And those weren’t totally separate comments, on different fliers: you said I was a valued customer who doesn’t use her card enough on the same piece of paper.

I’ve called to opt out of the upgrade. It only took a couple of minutes, once I reached a person. For now, at least, I’ll keep using your card as my primary shopping device, if for no other reason than that I keep forgetting the security code for my other card. But pull that kind of trick a few more times, and I’ll cancel your card.

Sincerely,
Naomi