Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Domino Effect

There are things conspiring against me. Things that I myself have set into motion. These things set other things in motion that keep me from doing what I wish to be doing. Regrettably, these things are also unavoidable and the chain reactions MUST be dealt with.

Domino #1

Perhaps the most difficult to overcome: work. Yes, 44 hours one week and 36 hours the next and still more of it when I get home. Knowing that most of us suffer from this malady does not lessen the load I am currently juggling at work. As an editor, I find there is a tidal effect with work. Sometimes the tide is in and the work is fast and furious. Sometimes the tide is out and things move at a more leisurely pace. Right no the tide is IN. Now, if this were the only domino in question, it would not be so bad....Enter the next domino

Domino #2

Editing Certification. Most of you are aware that I am an editor of several years experience now. The Editors' Association of Canada has devised a wonderful certification program by which we can all gain more respect and, dare I say, a bit of well-earn prestige in the workplace. Lovely. Yes. I, of course, being me, have decided to take all three of the available courses:

Elementary Knowledge of the Publishing Process;

Proofreading; and

Copy Editing.

This involves separate study guides and practice exercises and the testing to be done in November. I have also tied this testing to my work performance review. So, I'm really going to put some effort into this. But of course, considering the nature of domino #1, it may be difficult to get much studying in during the now non-existent slow period at work. This has also spawned the need to write up a training plan to submit to HR for reimbursement for the testing and study materials.

These two dominos alone, I could handle quite nicely. But, they aren't the only ones.

Domino #3

The smell coming from my cold air vent. It's that time of year again. The Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beasties, come back into the house for warmth. Occasionally, some accident befalls one and for some unknown reason, they perish in the cold air return. For a few days I thought it might just be the damp coming out of the basement. However, inspection of the basement revealed that it was no more damp than usual. This is
Carleton Place and my basement is typical for the over century old set of houses. The floor is bedrock. The walls are stone. It is as old as dirt. But I digress. After a few more days, the smell changed to that of some kind of CSI crime scene. How can one mouse do that? It makes me thankful I've never and I am likely never to stumble across a larger carcass. Especially not in my cold air return. So, you're wondering now, what's the spin-off on this one. Wait for it. This one's a good one. So I thought to myself (and Bruce gave a helpful suggestion), better get the ducts cleaned. That should take care of the problem. And while I'm at it, I'll just have the furnace serviced too. Want to be safe for the coming winter. They tend to be cold (-40 deg C cold). Yep, that's cold enough to freeze the balls off your average brass monkey.

So, the dudes from Ed's Home Comfort showed up today to "service" my furnace and for my money, they told me that if it were in their basements, it would have been gone long ago. And they didn't advise trying to get another winter out of it. It is 26 years old and really didn't heat parts of the house anyway. BUT, it does create a bit of a cascade. Now, I've had to call an energy efficiency inspector because...I'm about to say something that doesn't come out of the mouths of Canadians very often...God Bless the Government (both Federal and Provincial) because we have an Energy Efficiency program that will give me a bit of a break on the price because I am retrofitting my house which is older than dirt. NRCan requires a blower door test which will effectively and scientifically tell me what I already know: my house leaks air like a sieve and is not terribly efficient in its usage of our precious energy.

This has to be done before I can get the new furnace. Check the date folks. Time is running short before potential snow fallage. Eeegads!

So what am I going to do now that I have poured my heart out to you? I'm going to start another knitting project, but this time, it's just for me. All for me. Not for Christmas. Not for a loved one. Not for a rainy day. Not just in case. No. I am going to start this: The Aran Accent Vest from Patons Cables book (No 500846). And I am using a yarn that was a gift to me from a wonderful lady, Bruce's mom Joyce.

It is Briggs and Little 2 ply in dye lot #308 from goodness knows when in a lovely seafoamy blue. I'll show you pictures when it's underway.

I have also finished a couple of pairs of socks for my beloved. The first pair are done in Austermann Step with Aloe Vera in # 3 Gras. These were my first socks done all to
measurement and using a simple sock recipe. I did a swatch to see how many stitches I'd need to make socks that wouldn't cut in to his ankles or calves. You can see from the picture, cutting in isn't going to be the problem. Far from it. Falling down is the trouble. They may get frogged even though they are done. Or perhaps gifted to someone with larger feet. The whole point was to learn something from the process. And learn I did. You can start the toe an inch sooner than you thought and things will work out just fine. Ribbing down the leg is advisable if a bit boring. They are socks. How interesting do they have to be? Now that I understand better the size I'm dealing with, I can knit better ones. Which I did.

These babies are made with Briggs and Little sock yarn. 100% wool and not to be put in the dryer. However, you will notice that they fit the feet much better than the green ones. Learning has occurred. My inspiration for this pair was from Maud at the Garn Boet - Yarn Nest, and one of my favourite blogs to read. Check her out! Like her soccer socks, I used a knit 3, purl 1 rib all the way down to the toes (stocking stich on the under side of the foot). This gives them a nice appearance and is a bit better to knit than k1p1 ad nauseum.

Well, that just about wraps it up for tonight. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from the gigs of a couple of weekends ago. The International Ploughing Match where it appears we were playing in a cage just like the Blues Brothers, but really it was a flatbed trailer stage that faced south on a hot, sunny day and we all got BURNT. It was amazing and the crowd stuck it out with us without a shred of shade for most of them. The best part was my personal cheering section at the back (ironically in the only shade) my girlies and my parents and their friends. Nothing like playing to a stacked and packed crowd.

And the Russell Celticfest. A whole day and evening of excellent music, pipe bands and storytelling. We didn't have to play in a cage in Russell. But I bet Big Jeezus Truck should have.

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