Not so Genuis Genuis

Went to pick up my laptop today after a few days of gnashing my teeth with frustration.  I’m very attached to my laptop.  I spend quite alot of time with it.  It’s like my best friend and work bud – I plan my diary with it, keep all my addresses and important info, keep up with work and personal correspondence, have conference calls on it, keep my lists, graph out designs, do the layout for my patterns, edit images and keep all my photos. I go shopping with it, visit friends and family, and keep up with chatter from knitting friends.  So, you can imagine, I know it pretty well.  I know when it needs a break, and I know when it’s not feeling well.  When it’s a case of repairing permissions, or when it’s something more serious.  It’s like when you know when your cough is more than just a cough, or when you’re not feeling right and you know it isn’t just a cold.  Well, my poor little laptop hasn’t been herself for months now.  So what does one do when the apple feels poorly? Take it to the mothership of course.

I made my appointment with the genius bar.  It turns out that genius bar is filled with people who are familiar with apples but not experts as we (I) might be led to believe. They are enthusiastic, and knowledgeable but by no means specialists.   Having brought my baby in once, and had her lobotomized (aka ‘clean reinstall’) where everything was wiped and the OS reinstalled completely, she still wasn’t acting right.  The chap who wiped my laptop told me to come back if she was still spooling more than she should.  When I was putting together the last pattern for the Knit Love Club I lost that document half a dozen times before I gave up and moved to the desktop.  I kept getting the swirly bonbon constantly and then the dreaded blue screen.  So I brought her back in.

What did the Genius Bar tell me?  They opened safari and clicked a few links. Closed that, then opened another application and clicked around.  Closed that.  Then told me, that my laptop was acting as they would expect. That nothing was wrong with it. That my mail accounts were probably slowing it down.  WTF? To the point of freezing my laptop?!  That my mail accounts had no effect on the speed for 6 months but all of the sudden have paralysed my baby?!  Or that, having purchased an Apple Time Capsule, that it was causing the spooling?  AN APPLE PRODUCT SOLD AS BEING A CONVENIENCE FOR ITS OWN COMPUTERS? That it should be incompatible was laughable.

Now, I am a huge Apple fan. I love my macs, and they have served me well over the last 6 years.  This is the first time that I’ve had a problem, and I was rendered
speechless with frustration that they would tell me the laptop was fine
when I bloody well knew it wasn’t.   I resent being told by a 22 year old kid fresh out of university that I don’t know computers and that they just crash sometimes and go slow.  The advantage of being my age, is that with it comes 14 years of working with computers – starting out easy with word processing for university assignments, then very large corporate computer systems with a slew of crazy applications all integrated to work together, and then of course a computer based small business which requires use of many different applications often at once.  So though I am not an IT expert, I do know when a computer is acting in a way it shouldn’t, and I also know when a decrease in speed is normal.  So having made it clear I wasn’t leaving with the laptop unless it was fixed, I made them sign it in for stress testing.

I got a call on Monday to tell me that the hardware was completely fine, that they ran their hardware diagnostics and it came back clean.  I asked them what exactly they did to stress test it – did they use it as someone whose computer is the hub of their business and personal life?   Or did they do what they did at the genius bar – open safari and click a few links, close that then open another application?  I don’t practice application monogamy.  It just isn’t practical or generally possible. Who checks mail, then closes the application before opening up Word or some other application?  Sometimes I have to see my mail to write a document, or vice versa, or have my photo editor open to add a photo to a document or email.  Or listen to music while putting together a spreadsheet file to embed in a document layout.   I told them how  I use my computer (seriously, am I being naive? I assume how I use it is no different than most.  Do people really practice application monogamy?)

Anyways, another papa john later, the very patient lady on the receiving end of my increasingly apoplectic ranting got a technician to call me back.   Who apparently ran a third party diagnostic tool and found that… wait for it… my hard drive was in early stages of failure.  And that was the reason it was spooling like crazy.  Because it had to reallocate the failed sections of the hard drive to healthy sections.  Hence the crashing.  And he told me that having a gazillion (okay 9) mail accounts would not cause my laptop to crash, or slow down nor should Time Capsule cause it to spool. So the Genius who told me all the crap is not so Genius after all.

But I have my baby back, and she’s good as gold.  Bonzai baby, bonzai.

k1, yo, k1 tutorial

Here’s a video tutorial for how to k1, yo, k1 in a stitch.  The double wrap instruction comes from the March Knit Love Club pattern, currently still spoiler shielded. More on the sock in a few week’s time. 🙂

Meanwhile here’s some Yutube for you!

Light Headed

Finally I have scribefire & feedly back on my laptop.  I love my baby, but it’s been a bit under the weather lately. So much so that I had to have all of the memory wiped, and the OS reinstalled.  Pain in the butt.  It’s taken a little while to get it back to normal – Skype is reinstalled, and my RSS reader Feedly (which I love reading over breakfast), and Scribefire – my go to blog editor.  Unfortunately despite the clean reinstall, laptop is still playing up…. I think it may have to be sent to the big Apple in the sky and get reincarnated into a new less delay prone version.  I’ve got an appointment with the Apple store this week so will see how that goes.

I’ve been looking into various ways of putting together a pattern store with my blog and I think I have it licked.  Will be getting that sorted after the sock club goes out on Tuesday so hopefully will have something shiny and fun for you to check out come April.  Yay!

We also got the go ahead for Shirley Paden to teach at Knit Nation.  Am soooo excited about this last minute addition to our teacher list – she just released her Knitwear Design Workshop book which is getting great reviews.  Mine is coming with my cousin A in less than 2 weeks. Can’t wait! Meanwhile have been drooling over the reviews.
This from Yarn Market News:
In this spiral-bound, 300-plus-page dissertation on designing handknits, Professor Paden delivers a graduate-level course for very serious knitters, using text, charts, annotated schematics, sketches, sidebars, mathematical conversion formulas—every aid at her considerable disposal—to explain the myriad ways of getting exactly the look you’re after by marrying the right yarn and stitch pattern to the right silhouette and sleeve type. Exhaustive, comprehensive—mere adjectives don’t begin to describe it so I’ll stop trying…. Pictures of her past design triumphs and a handful of large-scale textured jackets and sweaters that anchor the tutorial section further illustrate that Paden is simply in a master class of her own.Because she’s put on paper the process she goes through each time she designs, we’re all the more able to appreciate the brains behind the beauty of her output.”

And another from The Knitting Scholar.  

Keep an eye out in Knitting Magazine for a chance to win a copy for yourself!  Meanwhile, we’ll be releasing her Design Master Classes at Knit Nation nearer the start of April.

Left jab right hook

Have been slightly awol the last week, just haven’t really felt like blogging. Is there such thing as interwebz malaise?  Or maybe a general lack of inspiration. Could explain the lull in knitting mojo.

DH and I had a lovely day on our anniversary – had a nice walk to Knightsbridge then hopped on the tube to make our reservations at Hix.  DH had black pudding to start, not my thing at all but he really enjoyed it.
Anniversary #2

As for me I had a dozen oysters  – I loved the west merseas the best.  So yummy!  A question for you who do oysters – do you swallow or chew?  I’m a chewer myself. I love the texture and flavour.  But D just swallows in one gulp.  Anyways my plate went from this:

Anniversary #2

to this:

Anniversary #2

way too quickly!  I love the french style shallot red wine vinegar sauce they give you, along with a drop of tabasco.  I think that is my favourite way to have oysters.

Then we had a T-bone (porterhouse) steak – which was yummy, but not as good as the Nebraska grass fed from Goodman’s which melted in your mouth more.  Will have to take D there soon.

The week after was a little up and down – D and Deuce both got food poisoning and were both up the same night being sick.  Poor Deuce had to go out twice, and was throwing up too.  A day later both were fine.  The day after I was pretty tired then felt kind of funky myself… but thankfully it passed with a couple good nights sleep.

I also finally met my friend R’s girlfriend M.  We went on the Sat morning to get tickets for Enron and we went to watch it tha evening.  Awesome play.  The subjet matter was certainly interesting, and the playright deftly handled the corporate jargon so that the play was never overwhelmed by it. But what blew me away was the production itself.  There was singing. There was dancing.  There were light sabers. Never trite, just exciting.  It really conveyed the sense that at the time, it felt like Enron could change the world. That what they were doing was creative, innovative, and just plain old exciting (despite being questionable and oh, yes, illegal).

Dinner with T, J & A on Thursday at Sardo – I used to go here all the time with B back in the day. Glad to see it still going strong, and still serving deliciousness!  Lovely to see them, especially T, who was shocked that I had a blog, and even more scandalised at the security threat of having personal details on the interwebz.  I guess like many other bloggers, there is a line betwen personal information in the legal sense (stuff identity theives need to know) and personal chit chat like what I ate for dinner on a given night etc.  I am hoping identity thieves prefer a more expedious manner of crime (ie stealing credit card information or post) than sifting through hundreds or thousands of posts which may or may not be amusing, but will be most certainly time consuming, for relevant details and information.  Still, having said that, if the Queen and her entourage have their personal diaries up for inspection, and also have their home addresses available to the public and still they manage to keep their homes (relatively) secure and their credit card details away from prying eyes, then I suppose I should be safe enough.  Of course, I doubt the Queen has need of a credit card….

Today off to punch class with Lukola.  Looking forward to some aggression therapy!

Oh yes and knitting – have been busy working on the next sock for the club. After quite alot of frogging, I finally am happy with the pattern.  Marja & I made all the password tags on Friday – followed by a Snog (frozen yoghurt, not smooching) at Westfield with Tricia, Jaq & Arianna.  We parcel up on Monday and everything goes out in the post on Tuesday.

I also got my Loopy Ewe sock club last week – with a pattern by our very own Sam Roshak called A Little Jazz! A mini version of her Shawl that Jazz.  Well done Sam! Looking forward to her creation for the RSC!

Cotton Celebration

Two years ago I got hitched here:
DSC_0399 by Socktopus.


There have been some big changes and little changes, but the most important things have stayed true.
My hubby:

My dearest girls:

The memory of a gorgeous wedding (thank you mom!) and a great party where friends and family came together to really enjoy themselves.


And of course my favourite part of the whole party – the square dancing!  You can take the girl out of cowtown…. but not the cowtown out of the girl!


Morning Sawdust in Provence

Hubby works hard, and often long hours.  He certainly gives his pound of flesh.  Thankfully he’s good at what he does, and enjoys it.   He also gets some nice thank yous along the way.  The last one, as a thank you for a few big jobs well done,  was pretty way cool.  DH was taken out to a fancy shmancy dinner with a pretty exciting wine tasting and auction. The whole thing was a charity event for two children’s charities – one for epilepsy and one for disabled kids.  The auction at the end of  it  had all manner of fab things, including a stay in a French chateau, a Kenyan beach house, dog fighting in Hawker Hunter T7 FoxOne fighter jets.

The tasting however is what I was totally jealous(1,000) about. For those of you lucky enough to have been buying en primeur or to have your own fabulous cellar of old world 1er Cru, I salute you. And invite myself over for dinner and wine! 😉  But for those of us who aren’t quite so advantageously situated, these are wines that under normal circumstances wouldn’t make it into my Waitrose shopping trolley.  So I can drool and enjoy vicariously through David, though, when you see his notes it’s really not much help in the imagination department.

This is the list:

1998 Wine Tasting

Chateau Latour, 1er Cru Pauillac

Chateau Lafite, 1er Cru Pauillac

Chateau Margaux, 1er Cru Margaux

Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 1er Cru Pauillac

Chateau Haut Brion, 1er Cru Pessac-Leognan

Chateau Ausone, 1er Grand Cru Classe St Emilion

Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1er Grand Cru Classe St Emilion

Petrus, Pomerol

Le Pin, Pomerol

Viex Chateau Certan, Pomerol

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan

Chateau Cos d’Estournel, 2eme Cru St Estephe

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, 2eme Cru St Julien

Chateau Leoville Las Cases, 2eme Cru St Julien

Chateau Leoville Barton, 2eme Cru St Julien

Chateau Pichon Lalande, 2eme Cru Pauillac

Chateau Pichon Baron, 2eme Cru Pauillac

I was pretty excited to see the notes and list, thinking that I could at least imagine what the wines were like.  Sadly, David’s note are mostly illegible. I can make out a few words here and there. Next to Leoville Barton he has noted ‘morning sawdust in Provence’.  Hmmm.  Not sure I want to know what that tastes like, or how my husband happens to know what that tastes like.    The Mouton Rothschild has the word ‘sofa’ written down then crossed out, next to ‘chocolate’.  Then, ‘becomes v. froggy’.   I think he liked the Le Pin because there are three very clear descriptions: ‘tropical fruit bouquet’, ‘very smooth’, and ‘woody’.  Or maybe it was the first one and therefore the writing is the least wine-befuddled.

So I wouldn’t sulk and feel sorry for myself, I went out for a lovely lunch with Tricia & Arianna – to Goodman’s, a US style steakhouse in Mayfair. The steaks are all 150 day aged grain fed beef from Nebraska.

This is the first time a steak I’ve had here has taken me back home to summer bbq’s at my mom’s.  Such a nice feeling. I took a couple bites, and went off into lalaland.  I think I was off  a little while too long as Tricia got all concerned and thought there was something wrong with my fillet!  No no. Perfectly rare.  Very yummy.  Deuce even got to enjoy as both Tricia & I had some left over.  I’ll have to record him someday – when he eats a good beef (like steak, or beef on the bone) he makes these really loud mmm mmmm mmmm noises.  So he enjoys a good old cut of beef as much as the rest of us!

Wandering around Notting Hill yesterday I came across this poster:

I think that is a sign I should go there with Deuce!

PS –  Knit Nation Newsflash: Additional spots are available now on Nancy Bush‘s classes (some previously sold out), and Anne Hanson’s previously sold out Finishing Series &  Advance Lace classes!

Bright light! Bright light!

Glorious sun today – must get out to the park before the clouds roll in. The sky is a glorious blue right now.  Spring please be on your way!

Sunday we had a stroll in the park (despite the drizzle), then off to the gym for our induction. David poo poo’d the power plates but when we were shown how to use them he got all enthusiastic.  Those things rock.  Great for stretching and for making your ears buzz inside your head.  I rowed 2000m, which was super boring but I managed to do it in 10min 30 seconds.  Pretty crappy but D told me Simon used to rock his 2000m in 6m15 and he was on the national squad for years, so I think I’m pretty pleased with my first go in years and finishing without having blown up and passed out.  They have all these new fangled machines – one where you do a speed skating motion – back and out to the side. Kind of like skiing when you are trying to get up speed while traversing flat terrain.

David’s been choosing our movies from Love Film recently – and the last two were real tomatoes.  First up in the Bad Movie Gong Awards is Damned United – an incredibly boring film with bad hair and ugly sets about Brian Cough, an obnoxious and rude and hugely egotistic football manager and his partner Peter something.  There is redemption in it – Brian falls from his very very high giantess horse and is humbled, then makes things right and is rewarded with fame and everything he wants. But that only happens in the last 5 minutes of the film. The rest of it is like watching a train wreck in slow mo – dragged out for 90 minutes.  Everyone in it except the Peter character is pretty much despicable and unlikable.  This one was a double poke your own eyes out movie.

The second great work David chose was 21 – a movie about a bunch of MIT kids recruited by a professor and trained to work as a team to count cards in Vegas and win lots of money.  It took 30 minutes to get to Vegas.  With lots of scenes of snow dusted Harvard buildings and MIT class rooms.   It was nice to see the vistas of Vegas and to see a little bit of Boston which looks like a lovely place.  I like watching Kevin Spacey because he almost always plays a cocky so and so in the movies.   But not so much that I would sit through another 2 hours of drivel.  This one was just a poke an eye out movie. Bad but not as bad as the first one.  The nice background at least was enjoyable to watch, if you can tune out the story.

Knitty Ad out this morning after a slight hiccup with our internet connection.  We’ve got a bunch of ads coming out in the magazines this spring – Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knitty, Knitting Magazine, and of course Ravelry so keep an eye out for them.