An exploration of my life as I know it. Knitting, working, creating, and cat-wrangling.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why can't we all just get along?

So last night at knitting group I heard some really great news. The Wisconsin Library system (I'm sure this is true for other state's library systems too) has a digital download center where you can "check out" audio books for free (and in some cases are able to burn them to a cd!). I was soooo super excited about this feature, now I can catch up on my reading WHILE I knit!!! For FREE!! I went there right away and put several books on hold (since the ones I was interested in were already checked out) and was browsing around looking for more when I decided to look and see how this magical system works. Well, it's a good(?) thing I did. After reading up on the software you have to download (free) to work with this program it became quite obvious to me that this system only works with PC's (I have a Mac) and Windows Media Player and would not be be compatable with my iPod. GREAT!!!! @!%$#&*^^ing GREAT!!!

This is the only thing that the info page had to say on the incompatibility issue: "OverDrive, along with hundreds of online digital media providers, is hopeful that Apple and Microsoft can reach an agreement that would enable support for Microsoft-based DRM-protected materials on the iPod and Mac."

Yeah, so am I. However, with the track record between the two I don't foresee this happening any time soon.

To relate this to knitting somehow (because everything can be related to knitting) this reminds me of the long-standing feud of knitters and crocheters. Like Apple and Microsoft, there are many similarities between the two crafts. Both use a needle(s), of some sort, to manipulate yarn into something beautiful and/or useful. They may go about it different ways, but the effects are the same. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, knitters and crocheters can work together and co-exist to become items like this (my favorite being the brown cardigan). See what great things can come from working together? There will always be that undetermined weirdness between those of us that ONLY knit or ONLY crochet (I happen to do both and love the differentness and sameness of both skills), but deep down we know that we're in the same felted boat that is full of the the things we love, yarn and cool patterns.

This refusal to work together, while helping the corporation's bottom line, ultimately hurts the consumer. People are forced to choose, all of column A or all of column B. This doesn't just include computers, the dvd market is seeing a debate between Blu-Ray and HD dvd's. Neither one (read: corporation) wants to work with the other and as a result we are stuck with two formats that each have certain studios backing them. So consumers are forced to choose to buy a Blu-Ray or HD dvd player (and a big F-off to those that can afford to buy both. I can't afford to buy either). "But Tina" you say, "you don't need to buy either of these things. Just use a regular dvd player." Well, I do. And I shall continue to until my financial situation becomes something which can afford such a luxury. However, whether I have/can afford one is beside the point. The point is that these companies are so greedy, and so stubborn that they are absolutely not willing to "combine forces" and make a product that benefits both consumers and corporations. Agh.

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure I'll regret this post tomorrow (I'm not sure some of my arguments make sense), but I was just really excited about downloading audio books.

I'm going to go work off some of this frustration at the bar while listening to a Talking Heads cover band, Houses in Motion.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Just Call It Practice

Ok, so I don't remember specifically announcing this on my blog, but I wasn't going to knit anything for me until after the holidays. Well, so much for that. After one and a quarter pattern repeats on my afghan square with the scratchy, wool/acrylic blend (it's for charity, hence machine washable) I decided I couldn't take it anymore, I had to work with a natural fiber. And color. So I broke down and started a pair of socks. Diamante to be exact, in this (the colorway I used, Royalty, is not shown) yarn that I bought last year in my first (and what appears to be only, shame on me) etsy purchase. I am working on them until my shipment of yarn for holiday gifts arrives. Then I shall be casting on with great fervor and knitting at every possible moment. I know , I know, I waited until the last moment to order the yarn and I deserve not having the time and sanity to complete these presents in under 40(!) days.

I'm sure you'll hear from me at random points in the process where I'll either be breaking down in tears, insanely optimistic, or triumphantly declaring victory. Probably, more than likely, all three.

The thought of getting back to these socks will, hopefully, keep me motivated. And if that doesn't than the thought of making this with this (both ordered with the holiday yarn. Hey, it's the time for giving, and I think that includes to yourself as well.) will surely make me want to finish.

It'll be really hard not to post pictures of all my loot when I get it, but since I'm not sure if one of the recipients reads this, I don't want to take a chance. I'll post pictures after the holidays.

Alright, off to do a few rounds on the sock before it retires!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sugar High

Halloween can really knock the wind out of you. All that candy kind of put me in a sugar coma, albeit a functioning coma. I did things, I remember doing and saying things, but it was fueled by that most flavorful of elixirs, chocolate.

In this sugary haze, I completed my Coronet hat, fixed and finished Ray's binary hat, played a little Guitar Hero 3, watched people play a lot of Guitar Hero 3, closed my account at my ex-bank, and celebrated with Mr. D's donuts (I started crashing and had to get one more fix).

My celebration ended this morning when I ate my half of the apple fritter I bought for Ray and I. If you ever want to know what a $5 donut is like first of all, it tastes delicious. Second, it is about 1 foot across. Yes, you heard me correctly. This fritter was the size of a nice dinner plate! It only took me most of the morning to eat my half of it. I would have taken a picture of it, but I'm not really feeling up to loading pictures onto this thing today.

Therefore, this post will have a few links but, sadly, nothing pretty to look at. I think I'm coming down from my "fritter high". I just had a really ridiculous argument with Ray about talking on my speaker phone (apparently my speaker phone sucks and he can't hear me when I'm on it, I may need to invest in one of those blue tooth jobbys), and I'm feeling tired and irritable. And apathetic. Oh my god, I'm reverting to my 16 year-old self! Ok, no more donuts or sugary snacks for the rest of the day, and maybe the weekend. We'll see. Coffee doesn't count though, I think I may have to go make some more.

I think I'll spend this afternoon listening to the new Lime N' Violet podcast and working on my afghan square (mine is the second one up on the right) for my Tuesday night knitting group.