Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Inflation, and sad looking plants

I'm not sure how long I have been gardening (or at least attempting to make a garden), but it started sometime in the early nineties.

I was thinking how much more my gardening supplies cost.

Plants like tomatoes and peppers used to come in a same 4-pack. At places like Walmart, these 4-packs cost something like 2/1.00, 2/.88, or on rare occasions even 3/1.00. A packet of seeds from a company like Burpee would cost a bit more than a dollar. I stopped buying tomato and pepper seeds. For a dollar I could get about eight plants and not have to try to grow my own leggy seedlings on the windowsill.

For other plants that were best grown from seed, I found cheaper packets. I found places that sold seeds for a nickel, and several more places that sold seeds for a dime or a quarter. I bought a lot of seeds, just never for tomatoes or peppers, and rarely from a big name company, unless that was the only way to get a particular strain of something.

At some point I bought some small tomato cages, two for a dollar. Then I bought some larger ones for a dollar. Then I made some larger ones myself.

I can't find 4-pack plants anymore. For a while there were 6-packs for a dollar, but now they are closer to two dollars. Then there were the 2-inch pots, first 4/1.00, then 3/1.00, and now 2/1.00 when I can find them. 4-inch pots are usually twice as much if not more, but they are supposed to be bigger plants. This year I am finding a lot of 4-inch pots that just have 2-inch size plants in them.

The tomato cages that used to cost fifty cents or a dollar now cost three or four dollars. That just seems like too much to me. Most of the places that had the nickel seeds aren't around anymore. Places that sold seeds for a dime last year are selling them for a quarter this year. The big name seeds that used to be about a dollar are now closer to two dollars.

Some things seem about the same. The small hand tools that used to cost a dollar are still to be found at the dollar store.

Hard work has gone up, sort of. I think when I started my first garden, I was making about minimum wage, which I think was around 3.80 an hour. Now minimum wage is 7.15. But I am older, and the ground here is clay, while the ground at the old house was mostly sand, so everything is more work, and I have less strength to do it.

Of course, at the moment I have no job, minimum wage or otherwise, so one way of looking at it is that as long as I'm doing the work by myself, it is free.

Except for the cost of aspirin and muscle rub.

Yesterday, I went shopping for plants. I made a trip to Fort Worth and spent about twenty dollars. I didn't buy as much as I planned.

I used to buy from different places for different reasons. One place tended to have less expensive plants, another might have more variety of plants, and still another place seemed to have bigger healthier plants. So I would go to the first place and buy a lot of stuff, go to the third place and spend a bit more to get a few plants that were bigger, and then go to the second place and pay a bit extra to get a few more plants that I couldn't find at the other two places.

Okay, the place with the less expensive plants still seems to have the best prices, if they have what I want. But, like everyone else, they seem to have no cheap 4-packs, and less of the 2-inch pots than they used to. Still, they have the best prices on herbs, so I bought about ten. Last year I bought everything, thinking that I would plant a big herb garden and never need to buy most of them ever again. Except that most of the herb garden drowned last year, so this year I'm trying to be a bit more cautious. Still, the plants I bought were worth the trip.

There were two places that I used to go for the variety. One of them is still quite good, but it is quite a drive, and I usually end up spending too much money there, and sometimes I buy too much and end up not having enough space for the plants and seeds that I get there. In the future I need to stay away from this place until after I have a bed dug and ready to plant.

Another place that I used to get unusual seeds from seems to be getting rid of those displays. And it isn't that I bought a lot of those seeds, it was just nice to know that they were there and that I could buy them someday.

And the place that I used to buy the bigger plants seemed to not have such impressive plants this year. They seemed to have a lot of 2-inch size plants in the 4-inch size containers. And half the place looked like it was dying. Maybe those are plants from last year and they are going to be replaced soon, but mark them down or something. Some of these sad little plants still had four dollar price tags. Who wants to buy a dying plant for four dollars?

So that leaves my local independent. I don't usually buy a lot from her, cause her plants usually aren't special in any way, not the cheapest, not the biggest, and usually not the rare varieties (though she was the first I saw with the Stevia plant). She does have two things going for her. She is the closest place I can buy from, and she takes the time to mark all of the plants. The 2-inch and 4-inch containers often arrive without the little plastic name tags (they are just on the trays, and not on the individual containers that you take home), but she takes the time to write the names on popsicle sticks so that you know you've bought a cherry tomato instead of an early girl. If you buy a plant without a marker, that's probably because the truck just made a delivery and she hasn't had time to write them out yet.

I think that she'll be getting more of my business this year. With everyone else raising their prices, hers seem to be closer to the mid-range, and if I'm not getting the cheapest plants or the biggest plants I might as well go to the closest place and get plants that are properly marked.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taking the day off

I have been hard at work in the garden, partially just because I wanted to get started planting things, and partially because of some other stuff that I won't get into just yet. And, as I had the place to myself for most of the week, I did actually get a lot done, as I was getting up with the sun and going to work (for fifteen minutes intervals) through most of the daylight hours. So, on three of those days, in between breaks, I got about five or six hours work done. So, maybe twenty hours or so for the week, not counting that I had started on it the previous week, or tried to start working the week before that, or that little bit that I managed to get done before the great snow of 2010.

Anyway, I have been transplanting things and picking up trash and emptying pots and filling pots and moving dirt from one end of the yard to the other, washing rocks, putting down a few stepping stones, etc.... I go to bed tired and wake up hungry and between moving this and that have watched most of Stargate SG1 season 8.

And it is not finished. Still, I do see a lot of progress. I think to myself, this part over here actually looks nice. If the weather would cooperate (and my would health hold up, and my husband would stay out of town, and I could find a magic ATM that dispenses money without deleting anything from my account), I could make this whole place look nice and have flowers and yummy vegetables and everything.

Of course, most of that won't happen. But the weather might be okay for several days next week, and I plan to keep working on it.

I have made such progress that one of my nicer neighbors came and almost hugged me.

The yard still needs to be weedwacked, which is something I just cannot seem to get the hang of, so my husband will have to do it.

Anyway, I had planned to do more of the same today, but it was just too windy. See, I blame the fact that I did not get more done earlier on the rain that came (dirt I can deal with, though slowly, but mud is entirely different), and today I used the wind as an excuse to spend most of the morning shopping.

I got an early start on the shopping. First there was breakfast at a 24-hour taco place at around seven this morning, then I looked around Lowe's, and then I went to Walmart to buy day lilies. I guess that I waited too late to buy those day lilies, but then I thought I'd go to a different Walmart. I found Pardon Me and New Toy. New Toy wasn't what I had planned to buy, but I decided that two Walmarts in one day (without a sale) was enough. And then as long as I was in the general area, I might as well go to Home Depot too. By the time I did all that it was time for lunch, so I had to stop at McDonald's on the way home.

And then when I was unloading the car, I noticed the wind was a bit much. I decided that the plants could wait a while. About half a hour later, it was worse. The trash had not yet been collected, and some of mine was starting to get blown down the street. While putting it back on the curb I briefly lost my glasses.

At that point I decided that I was done for the day.

A bit later, I went to my brother's place to watch cable, and then he took me to dinner.

Well, it was nice to stay clean all day.

I didn't buy that much (though my wallet is much lighter), but I did a lot of window shopping. There is all this stuff made from recycled tires that I will be buying as soon as I win the lottery. And I saw this product for sale at Walmart. This is the sort of thing that you buy if you have a lot of money and want to do the new Square Foot Gardening, while I have no money and sometimes try to do the old Square Foot Gardening by buying scrap lumber. I would love to have several of these, but they cost about forty dollars each. (I spend about four dollars each.)

Still, go and look at this on their site. I'm not sure about their calculations, but it is fun to play with.

Eventually, I want to have no grass in the backyard. I would rather just have pathways between the garden beds and trees and such. This is not impossible, as I do not have a giant backyard. Still if I am not going to have any grass, I will have to have a lot of stepping stones or mulch or rubber mats and such to replace the grass. That would take a lot of money, and a lot of work. But I am thinking that if I just buy a bit every time I am at Home Depot getting something else, that I would eventually get it done, and the work would not be so terrible, and I would not notice the money so much.

Speaking of not noticing the money so much, I am trying to remember where it all went to. The stepping stones have gone up to 1.27. I bought six while they were on sale for .94, and then I bought eight more. I bought one 2x6 rubber mulch roll for fifteen dollars, two bags of sand at four dollars each, about twelve dollars of bedding plants from a local independent, 2.50 on two bluebonnets, two dollars on a six pack of petunias, ten dollars on day lilies, and a bag of rubber mulch for seven dollars. The bag of rubber mulch is less than half the size of the mulch I usually buy, but it costs about four times as much. But I have decided to try it anyway, because in most places where I have put mulch, I can only see what I bought last year, maybe in some places the stuff from the year before, and the rest is gone. I'm assuming that the rubber mulch will last a lot longer than that.

So that was around seventy-five dollars, plus I've been mostly eating the dollar menu at McDonald's, so that and the taco place was probably another twenty. So I spent all the money that I had this week (just in case I had jury duty), except for twenty dollars, and I was thinking that wasn't too bad, cause I would spend the twenty on a phone card that I need to get soon. I was looking at my last twenty dollar bill and telling myself that it was okay, that of all that money I had spent (mostly on Saturday morning) most of it was either something that I really needed (like the sand) or something that I had planned to buy (like the day lilies, though I had thought that they would be six dollars instead of ten), and that my only real impulse buys were the two bluebonnets (which if I didn't buy them I probably would have just bought a second pack of petunias) and the 2x6 rubber mulch roll (which I bought at fifteen dollars after seeing it someplace else for twenty, and I figured at 1.27 each for stepping stones that I would pay about the same amount to cover 2x6, so I might as well get the rubber and have a look at it). But then as I was leaving the Home Depot I noticed that blueberry plants had been marked down to four dollars, and I bought one of those too.

So I no longer have twenty dollars left, I won't be buying that phone card til next week, and I now have a blueberry bush that I have to deal with. Blueberry plants are in the grand scheme of things, but I have not yet prepared that area where they will go, so now I have to wonder what I'm going to do with this plant until then.

At some point I went out and measured everything, but I seem to have misplaced the notebook where I wrote everything down, so I shall have to take all the measurements again. I should mark out where I want the fruit trees to go and build barriers to go around them so that I remember not to plant anything else there.

Now it is Sunday. Being all clean for a day was nice, but now it is time to get back to work.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Does this make any sense?

It seems that I've read a number of things that didn't quite make sense the way that they were written. I can't remember most of them, but this was in the 2010 Census.

This concerns either questions 8 and 9, or questions 5 and 6. And maybe there are different Census forms, and other forms don't look like this.

--> NOTE: Please answer BOTH Question 8 about Hispanic origin an Question 9 about race. For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.

8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

_ No, not of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
_ Yes, Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano
_ Yes, Puerto Rican
_ Yes, Cuban
_ Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin--Print origin, for example, Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on.


9. What is Person 1's race? Mark x one or more boxes.

_ White
_ Black, African Am., or Negro
_ American Indian or Alaska Native--Print name of enrolled or principal tribe.


_ Asian Indian
_ Chinese
_ Filipino
_ Japanese
_ Korean
_ Vietnamese
_ Other Asian--Print race, for example, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian, and so on.


_Native Hawaiian
_ Guamanian or Chamorro
_ Samoan
_ Other Pacific Islander--Print race, for example, Fijian, Tongan, and so on.


_Some other race--Print race.


I don't know if your copy of the census looks like that. Mine had blue columns in English and green columns in Spanish. I don't know what race you are if you are Hispanic and Hispanic doesn't count as a race. What race would a Mexican American be if not Hispanic? He isn't White and he isn't Black, and he is not any of that other stuff listed. If White and Black are races, then maybe Brown should be race, but it isn't listed either.

I would not know how to deal with this if I had to answer that I was Hispanic. But I am not Hispanic. There are Hispanic people on my husband's side of the family, but he doesn't speak Spanish, so he doesn't even say that he's mixed, he just says that he's White.

I'm not sure why they need to know anyone's race anyway. Blacks and American Indians count as whole people now. The census is supposed to be counting to figure out how many representatives a state should get in Congress. That number isn't going to change because of a race majority or minority.

I also don't get the point of question three. Not that any of the answers were good ones for my situation, but I made a guess. Seems like there should be a few more boxes on that question, like condos or dorm rooms or even jail cells.

No, I do not live in a jail cell.

But, again, renters and homeowners and maybe even actual homeless people should count the same on a census. The state representative number won't go up or down either way. Why do they need to know if a person pays rent?


I heard another thing was was maybe poorly phrased.

My husband went to this meeting. This is part of a process to change the way that things are done so that my husband will start doing his job paired with one salesperson, while in the past he has usually worked with two salespeople. Most people don't like the idea. This isn't going to fix the problem. This is going to make everything better and get back those larger paychecks that a lot of them got used to getting.

And, it seems clear to me, that this means that there will not be work for half of the salespeople.

So this middle management guy (who possibly doesn't have a real job when he isn't going around giving speeches) gets my husband and other people with his same job and their two managers together, and a couple of the salespeople's managers were also at this meeting, though most of the salespeople were not there cause they'd already had one of these meetings.

So my husband is telling me about the meeting, how this middle management guy was trying to convince everyone that the new one on one system is going to be great (while most of us have figured out that it is a bunch of BS, but there's just no choice in the matter if you want to keep your job). And he starts out by saying that the new one and one system is a good thing, because right off it will get rid of half the problem. So this is a really good thing.

Sounds like he was saying that the salespeople were the problem, and that this was a good thing to get rid of half of them. And he said this not only in front of my husband and other people with his job and a couple of his managers, but also those few salespeople managers sitting in the back.

They were not amused. My husband did not laugh. Most of the other people didn't laugh either.

How about getting rid of half of the appointment setters and people who arrange for the accounts, since they bring in all the "customers" who don't buy anything. And how about getting rid of middle management, who probably don't do much when they aren't giving BS speeches.

But stand up in front of people and say that the new system will get rid of half the problem? What was he drinking?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A few more hours of doing mostly nothing

Okay, here is how my day goes.

I wake up. I wake up usually several hours before he does. I would prefer not to wake him up, but I cannot get back to sleep. I could either a.) suffer in silence, b.) flick on a light and quietly read next to someone who is trying to sleep, or c.) come in here and use the computer to maybe watch hulu or something like that. I would usually pick c, though that isn't possible when he is working, because if he worked the night before the computer is doing some work thing. So this morning it was b, which works if he is really asleep and I tilt the lamp at the right angle so that it doesn't light up the whole room.

Then I wait for him to wake up and do whatever it is that he's going to do. This morning involved: doing something over again with the computer cause it didn't do whatever it was supposed to do during the night, trying to cut the grass (actually weeds, but that is another post) (thanks for cutting the grass before we get a warning note), getting about half done with cutting the grass before deciding that new trimmer line was required, taking a shower, watching the episode of House that we missed, going to a hardware place to get new trimmer line, going to the library, going to Burger King for lunch, coming back here and looking at stuff online. The stuff in between taking a shower and looking at stuff online we did together. We do stuff like that together, which means that until he leaves for work I don't do much, cause I'm either doing something with him or I am waiting for him to get done with something so that I can do something else.

So I am waiting for him to get done looking at stuff online, when he asked me if I've done the insurance stuff.

No, I haven't done the insurance stuff.

Well, it needs to be done by Sunday.

Like I'm supposed to know that it needs to be done by Sunday. He's known about this for weeks and I only heard about it yesterday. Not my fault he waited so long.

Okay, let's do it now. It probably isn't any different than last year, and it shouldn't take that long if we don't change anything. And we don't change anything, cause we don't really know what we would want to change anyway.

So last year we took this little test, and I suppose that we should do it again this year. So he takes his test, and gets the same score as last year.

Well, if you don't lie, and you don't change your habits, your score stays the same.

So I start to take my test, only the computer takes me around in circles and I never actually end up taking the test. We can't figure it out. We tried the helpline and I thought I had it figured out from there, but I didn't. Now he's had to leave for work, and I can't take this stupid test.

Anyway, I can't take the test now cause it won't let me guess anymore passwords. Maybe I can take the test tomorrow, if I don't have jury duty.

And now, since I haven't started much of anything and three o'clock is only about an hour away, I might as well just wait for it to be three o'clock. I should be gardening or cleaning the backroom, but if I get jury duty I will probably not do either and will just do laundry and dishes and kitchen stuff instead. So I will just wait to see what I'm going to do.

Which means that by the time I do anything, I will probably only be doing it for about four hours before I call it a day.

I think that it is highly unlikely that I would get called on a Friday. They just don't start trials on Fridays. Still, there doesn't seem much point in starting what I plan to do today and tomorrow until I know for sure that I will actually be home to do it. So I am just mostly doing nothing for another hour or so.

It's sad. It is two in the afternoon and of all the stuff that I should have done today, so far all I have done is take a bath and eat lunch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another day without jury duty

Monday, I would not have minded getting it over with. As it is now, I think maybe I would like to put it off til next week, maybe even next Friday.

Not that I really want to get out of it entirely. Now isn't a really bad time, so it is better now than it might be later. Still, I am unlikely to actually get picked. It will probably only be the one day.

But if the one day had been Monday, that would have been better, since I would not have had to worry about parking. And, I had thought, that any day this week would have been the same. But my husband was unexpectedly added to this week's schedule yesterday. I can hardly complain that he's going back to work, even if it might not last.

Still, it would have been better to get the jury thing done without worrying about parking. Or, if I actually get picked for a jury, it would have been nice to go that first day without having to deal with parking. Worrying about all the other little details is enough for the first day. Worrying about parking could have waited til the second day.

But, it isn't going to work out that way. My husband will be working on each day that I might get called. So now I'm hoping that it is a week from Friday. I would still have to deal with the parking that day, but then I would have Saturday and Sunday off to deal with the traumatic experience, even if I did get picked. And I think that the next couple of days I might have other concerns that would be an added distraction that I don't need on top of maybe being a juror and having to deal with Dallas.

I hate Dallas.

Today is a beautiful day. I regret wasting so much of it. I have even attempted a bit of gardening today. I am trying to mix some soil, and I planted one bluebonnet. Okay, one bluebonnet is not a big deal, but I waited too late to plant seeds. And the one plant should make seeds that would probably plant themselves nearby for next year. After that I had to mail a letter (a letter that I've put off mailing for about two weeks), and to get over that bit of unpleasantness I stopped at a local plant place and spent five dollars. I now have two pepper plants, two tomato plants, a spinach and a lettuce. I couldn't buy much more than that. I have to keep at least ten dollars on me, just in case I have to go park in Dallas I don't want to get my husband to go to the ATM after working so late. And besides, the beds really need a bit of work before I start filling them with tomato and pepper plants.

Yesterday I tried to drag out more stuff to sort out. As some stuff like the yarn seems to get more organized, it leaves me with this growing mound of other stuff that I haven't figured out where it goes. I have noticed now that the pile of stuff is large enough that it mostly blocks the path to the dryer. So either I can't do laundry, or I can't add to this mound of stuff.

But, no jury summons yet, so maybe I can put off the laundry one more day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The first day of asparagus

There was asparagus in the back yard today. Not just tons of it, but I cut six stalks of it. I have enough that I will either eat it with pasta tomorrow for lunch, or maybe I'll eat it later today.

I mostly write this as a note to myself, so I'll know what day it was, so I'll know what day to expect it next year.

I didn't like asparagus until rather late in life. I must have been nearly thirty. I only like it if I cook it. Everyone else overcooks it or makes stuff with canned or frozen. I don't like any of that. Anyway, I decided to plant lots of asparagus where I used to live. And then when it was growing enough to eat it, I had to move away.

Maybe now I'll have to move away from here too.

I think it would be nice if there were all different kinds of asparagus, different flavors, different growing times, different colors. It would be nice if there were chili pepper flavored stalks that just grew out of the ground without having to plant it every year. Or tomato flavor. Or squash flavor.

I like my garden, but I don't like the work. Asparagus is a lot of work, but once it is done, it's done, and you can just enjoy it for ten years or more. Except for fruit trees and rhubarb, I can't think of much else that works that way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I don't think that the yarn is ugly

In the previous post, Dmarks suggested that I get rid of my ugly yarn on eBay. I think that I have too much to say on the subject to answer as a comment.

First off, it isn't that I think the yarn is ugly. I think maybe some mice ate some, but I threw that out (and I'm trying to figure out how to wash some of it from that same box, like maybe in one of those lingerie bags). That is the closest thing I would have to ugly yarn, and I wouldn't want to sell it if I could fix the problem, and I wouldn't want to stick someone else with the problem if I can't fix it.

But most of it is not ugly or damaged or anything. I just don't quite know what to do with it right now.

When I first got into knitting, I bought a lot of stuff on sale, but then I didn't use it. It just didn't quite work for what I thought I would want. Like I wanted to make Dr. Who type scarves, and I found a thick yarn on sale (like Jiffy or Thick and Quick, but I really can't remember). I just bought a lot of different colors. The sad thing is that I found a picture of this stuff in an ad, and I went to the store and it wasn't supposed to be on sale, but I demanded to get the sale price because of the picture in the ad. They finally sold me the eighty dollars worth of yarn for about thirty dollars. I was very happy and took the yarn home.

Then I started looking online for pictures of the Dr. Who scarf and found a whole website about making the scarves, and the colors I had bought were not even close. I spent another two weeks collecting regular four-ply acrylic yarn that looked more like the colors I needed.

But now I still have this thick yarn, and I only have one or two of each color. It doesn't really suggest another project. I could still make a long multi-colored scarf, but it wouldn't look much like a proper Dr. Who scarf, and that is a lot of work for something that is not a proper Dr. Who scarf.

I bought other yarn when it as on sale, cause it just looked so interesting, but I didn't really have any idea what I would use it for. Or I had an idea, but either it didn't work out, or I needed something else to go with it, something else that I still don't have. I bought several skeins of purple yarn and several skeins of orange yarn for two dollars each, which was a good deal, as the skeins usually cost five or six dollars each. But for that project I also need a certain shade of red of the same type yarn, which I rarely find, and I never find it for two dollars a skein. So that project will be waiting a long time.

I have tried to be more selective about buying clearance yarn. If it doesn't suggest a certain project, I shouldn't buy it. It isn't a good deal if it is just going to be part of the stash forever and never get made into anything.

There are certain types of yarn that I should buy if they are really cheap, and eventually I will have enough of the right colors to make something. Certain types and colors that I have used before (Dr. Who colors and Hogwarts colors) I will buy on sale regardless of how much I have already, because I know that I will use it. I am trying to not buy so much of other colors, unless I already know what I plan to do with it.

I now have more than ten boxes of yarn. One box is of colors that I use on a regular basis for scarves. Another two boxes are of different color four-ply acrylic yarn. I don't doubt it will be useful at some point. I have a whole box of different kinds of white yarn, and I have almost that much black yarn. And the rest is just different stuff that I either don't know what to do with, or I am missing some other part of the planned project.

So that's it. I really have very little yarn that I want to get rid of on eBay, unless I could get a good deal for it, but I doubt that I would.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Friday's deadline is almost here

Okay, so I said that I should clean and do a bunch of things before Friday. Well, as you might guess, not much in the way of cleaning has been done. But I have checked other major things off of my list. My annual visit to the clinic is done (though I should probably do the whole cholesterol testing thing later), and my mammogram is done, and yesterday I got the car inspected. It would be nice to also get the oil change taken care of, but I'm not sure that I have the money left for it.

I need to keep some money, just in case I get jury duty. In fact, if they just have me sitting in a waiting room for two weeks, I'll have to spend about a hundred dollars just on parking fees. And then there's lunch, breakfast if I have to leave really early, and dinner if I have to stay really late.

And then there is always the possibility that I might actually have to be on a real jury instead of just going through the motions of not getting picked.

Or I might spend the next two weeks making phone calls and finding out that I don't have to go in at all.

There is just no way to know. I'm trying to be prepared either way.

Anyway, back to the cleaning. I had it in my head that I should start with the back room, that it wouldn't take long, that there wasn't that much to do since I had done most of the work back in October. But it is totally messed up again. I now have more than nine boxes of yarn and a box of finished scarves, plus a few more scarves that are almost finished.

Let me explain what I mean by a box of yarn. These boxes are the plastic totes that range in size between fifteen and twenty gallons. I picked out one of the boxes and counted twenty-two skeins of regular four-ply acrylic yarn, new, still with the wrapper. I figure that a few of these were colors that I bought by mistake and decided that it wasn't worth the effort of returning them to the store (since they were probably bought on sale and were a good deal anyway), or else I found them on clearance or at a thrift store, and so they were about a dollar a skein or less. So at an average of a dollar a skein, the box cost me about twenty-two dollars. If I went out and bought the yarn now, at about two-fifty a skein, the box is worth about fifty-five dollars. I figure that is about an average box, with some of the yarn costing me more than a dollar, some of the yarn costing less than a dollar, some of the skeins being bought for about what they are worth, most being bought at a major discount, a few of the skeins are larger, and some of the skeins are smaller (more skeins in a box than the twenty-two I counted). It would take some figuring to really remember what I paid and what the yarn would cost if I wanted some like it, but I think twenty-two dollars and fifty-five dollars are good amounts to work with without doing all of that, and that works out to I spent just under two hundred dollars on the yarn, and new yarn would cost about five hundred.

So that is a lot of valuable yarn, and I don't want to get rid of it.

Okay, I don't really seem to want to get rid of anything. But I especially don't want to get rid of the yarn. I just want to get it organized so that I might actually use it.

Anyway, there's a lot of taking things out of one box and putting them in another, and then sometimes deciding that I don't like that any better and putting things back the way they were before.

Maybe I should start labeling things as to what should be done with them if I suddenly get hit by a bus and die. The yarn should be divided between M and B and other B. The scarves should be divided between K and Dmarks. If one of the lost Dr. Who scarves is found, TB should get it (after my husband and Dmarks get theirs). Costumes should go to K (except one that should go to Dmarks, even though it is too small for him to wear). Anything Land of the Lost should go to Dmarks, except for the DVDs and duplicate items should go to my brother. Any artwork not promised to someone else, my brother should get first refusal. Same with the books. K gets first refusal on Halloween stuff. And K gets first refusal on other craft supplies, except for soap and candles, which should go to G. S should get back some things that he gave me for Christmas, that I never got to use, and give them to someone else who could use them. The rest to whoever wants it.

Then there are other things that I should put in boxes that say, probably no one will want this, donate to Goodwill. I can't seem to do that myself now, but I wouldn't want to die and have anyone thinking those things were important to me and that someone needs to preserve them.

I should get back to work moving stuff back and forth between boxes. I still need to make room for the six more boxes in the living room.

Friday, March 05, 2010

We're coming to get you, Barbara

As you may have guessed, I'm a bit slow sometimes.

There is this movie The Dish. If you haven't seen it (and you probably haven't), you should. It is about this small town in Australia with a big radio telescope, and during the first moonwalk this particular dish is supposed to help broadcast the television signal. Three or four guys with pocket protectors work there, and during this time another geek from NASA joins them. One of the pocket protector guys is really good with numbers, but not so good with social situations and jokes. Somebody tells a joke involving carrier pigeons. He doesn't get it right away. The discussion moves on. Five minutes later, when they are talking about something else, he suddenly gets the joke and laughs. Carrier pigeons!

Someone in my little group suggested that we all watch an episode of Nova or something called The Pluto Files. This seems to be a reference to The X Files, but I don't get it. I should have gotten it when something was mentioned at the beginning of the program, but somehow I didn't get it til the closing credits. Planet X. The X Files. The Pluto Files.

Carrier pigeons!

Okay, so I haven't been feeling that good. I should be busy cleaning the house, but I'm not, which shouldn't surprise anyone. I haven't done much of the usual stuff, but I did have a project that I wanted to work on, and I should have been done with it by now, especially since I haven't been doing much of the usual stuff. I need to sort out the back room again (now ten boxes of yarn and mostly finished scarves), and I need to go through the holiday stuff again. I did most of this in October, how did it get to such a state in less than a year? Still, it needs to be done again, and I'm not making much progress, mostly cause I just don't feel well. Nothing serious, just the occasional headache or something, and no energy.

So I've spent a lot of time in bed, mostly reading or watching DVDs. So after my ordeal on Monday we went to the library, and I picked up a few more DVDs, one of them being Shaun of the Dead.

I told you I was a bit slow. This was the first time I had seen Shaun of the Dead. (I still haven't seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show either, but that is on purpose, as I think that someday I will win an award for being the oldest virgin.) This movie has been out for five or six years, and everybody loves it, and I just didn't bother to go see it.

It isn't what I was expecting. I was thinking that it was going to be a parody like Young Frankenstein. No, not like that. Still very funny, but not like that.

I didn't like it to start with. There is a lot of character development before you get to the zombie part. There is so much of this, that you start to wonder if you've put in the wrong disk. It is just one of those films about lowlife bums who live in England. Okay, they are not seriously lowlife bums. There are English films about seriously lowlife bums with pretty much no plot and no lines of dialog that do not contain some sort of profanity, and they seem to be made solely for the purpose of entering a contest to see how many times the F word can be squeezed into one film. They aren't that level of lowlife, just that Shaun's best friend does say the F word a lot, calls everyone c***s and n*****s, and is often seen scratching himself where it really itches. No one likes Shaun's friend, for good reason, except Shaun, but Shaun just won't give him up, and Shaun is no prize himself even without the friend screwing things up.

Despite the name, Shaun is not in fact, dead. He's just rather brain-dead a lot. But Shaun is not a zombie.

I very soon got tired of this and wondered, what has any of this got to do with zombies?

But then you start to notice things in background. Maybe there are zombies in this movie. Be patient. Be very patient. It will be half an hour before Shaun interacts with the zombies.

A few minutes later, the best friend yells, "We're coming to get you, Barbara!"

That was funny. If I had seen this in a theater, I expect that line was fall out of your seat laughing kind of funny. My husband didn't get it. It had been too long since he'd seen The Night of the Living Dead to get the reference.

I am not an expert on zombie movies. I have watched a few (and enjoyed a few) and I tend to like a few things such as 28 Days Later, which are sort of zombie movies. But I am not an expert, and I am wondering if I missed a lot of references. Maybe the whole movie was full of lines like that, and I just didn't get it.

There were a couple of things that reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and at one part the music made me think of The Thing. I wonder if they meant to do that, or if it is just me, as I am a bit obsessed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and rather like The Thing as well. (By the way, I hear that that are about to start filming the remake or prequel or whatever it is of The Thing. Cross fingers. And if it is good may John Campbell get credit in very big letters.)

While I was not feeling well, I also sat down to watch TRON. I just never can get through the whole thing. The first time I saw it, the beginning was boring, and I didn't finish watching it. Over time I have seen bits and pieces of it. One time I was flipping channels and saw that two actors from Babylon 5 were on it, so I tried to watch. Of course by then I had forgotten the beginning of the movie, so a lot of it didn't make since. Not that it has just a brilliant plot anyway.

So there's supposed to be a sequel (supposed to be, but now we are having doubts since there isn't much in the way of new news on the subject since San Diego Comic Con two years ago), so I figured that I had better watch TRON cause all my friends are excited that there's going to be a sequel. Okay, I have now watched it, and I just don't get why everyone was so in love with this movie.

Well, not all of them have the hots for Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I have just heard of something else in the line of stories like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which I thought started with Who Goes There. Apparently there was a Lovecraft story before that one, so I will have to read it. It is something that I look into once in a while, like the fictional history of the transporter. Does anything predate The Fly and the Doors that are sometimes in Asimov's stories?

I suppose that is enough for now. I have another ordeal this afternoon. It isn't so bad, and it will be good to get something else over with.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Not much going on

Last week I sort of scolded one of my readers for not posting and/or commenting for a couple of days. My readers do not live around here, and I tend to imagine them in ditches and covered with snow if they take a few days off from the blogging.

And here I see that it has been nearly a week since I posted anything myself.

Bad blogger. Bad.

But I haven't been doing much. Literally. I've spent most of my time in bed. (And no, I have not spent most of my time doing that. Just some.) And no, I'm not really sick either. I just feel like I'm going to get sick. I wish that I wouldn't get sick. I think that if I don't get sick this month either I won't get sick at all, or maybe I would get sick but soon get better. Long illnesses are more often a winter thing, and winter will soon be over.

Other than feeling like I might be getting a cold, I feel a bit queasy. I was wrong about the cabbage soup diet thing. It did not make me glad to eat food that is good for me, or at least, not for very long. I rather dislike the idea of eating anything green. No matter how good that it is, or how good that it ought to be, most of the veggies make me think of cabbage, which rather makes be feel ill.

And this after basically giving up on the diet after a day (or a day and a half, or two days with a non-diet day in between, depending on how you look at it). Imagine how it would have been after actually doing it the whole week.

Anyway, I don't feel so good and tend to spend a lot of time in bed. Mostly I have been trying to read, but it isn't a large print book, so I have to take off my glasses and hold the book two inches from my face. Still, this is probably the most reading I have done in four years or so. It is nice to read again.

Today I am sitting here because I cannot go back to bed. Today is that day that most women dread. I'm having to do it almost a month early, because if I schedule it when it should be it might interfere with possibly having jury duty. And though I do not expect to get picked, if I schedule something after the 12th I probably will get picked. It is one of Murphy's Laws or something.

So I am sitting here when I would rather go back to bed, cause if I go back to bed I might sleep too late and not be at the clinic by nine as I am supposed to be. What made me schedule it for nine in the morning anyway? I could have scheduled it anytime I wanted in the next two weeks. There's nothing to do at nine in the morning. If I had scheduled it for a couple of hours later at least I could have done a bit of shopping before, or had lunch afterward, or seen a movie afterward.

And I could have gone back to bed without having to worry about sleeping too late.

And I'm going to miss something on TV I wanted to watch.

But I didn't think of any of that, so here I am, trying to stay awake.

Okay, time for a bath. I need a nice long bath so that I'll have a nice clean a** for the nurse to look at.