Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another Strange Obsession

I should most likely say that this post has absolutely nothing to do with the crash of MH17. That is a horrific situation that can have no humor attached to it.

This is not about that.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way so that I do not get angry emails…not that I ever do get angry emails, but if I did then this would hopefully forestall that.

Where was I? Oh yes, I remember.

Everyone likes to read about plane crashes don’t they? I cannot be the only one who will sit, with rapt attention, through all the episodes of “Air Disasters”, right?



Fine, I will start with a short story. Many years ago in a house far, far away. Well, not that far away actually but in the scheme of my life it was two houses ago. As I was saying, many years ago when the progeny were little they were not given unlimited access to any kind of screen time. They are old enough that when they were growing up “screen time” meant sitting in front of the TV. We had a computer but no one would have thought that you could use it for anything other than work. Windows hadn’t been invented yet.

I think I rabbit trailed there. Anyhoo…..

The progeny had an hour of TV watching a day. This meant that even if you were in the same room with the TV on but it wasn’t the show you wanted to watch but you just happened to be, inadvertently of course, piggybacking onto your sister’s show but you REALLY weren’t paying attention, HONEST…..your hour of TV had been used up.

Go out and play in the dirt.

Sure you can have a hammer and nails. Just don’t nail your sister to the garage wall and no one had better get ANY blood on their clothes.

But that one hour a day did not include movies, or at least some movies. If it was a musical, no problem. You can watch The King and I till the cows come home, if we had any cows that is. I used to sing “Part of Your World” in my sleep they watched The Little Mermaid so often. If it had Charlton Heston in it, you were good to go. Ah Charleton Heston, how we loved him.

Parting the sea in The Ten Commandments, “Behold His mighty hand!”

Driving a chariot in Ben Hur, “Your eyes are full of hate, 41. That’s good.”

Running a circus in The Greatest Show on Earth, “Your veins are full of sawdust!”

If a movie had Charleton Heston in it then most likely I let them watch it. Well all except for maybe Touch of Evil. That movie even creeps me out. But most anything else with CH in it was a thumbs up.

And that is how, in 1992 we first encountered the movie Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232. Just a little made for TV movie with CH, Richard Thomas, James Coburn and a cast of other TV actors telling the story of the 1989 crash of United Airlines 232 in Sioux City, IA in 1989. For some reason, when it was on the TV for the first time, I hit the record button on the VCR and recorded that movie. And a cult following was born. They watched that tape over and over and over again. I watched that tape over and over and over again right along with them. We were so attached to that particular tape that when HHBL had a short, two day business trip to Rochester, NY and all of us went along  because there was a pool at the hotel, I took that tape along with us (because they wouldn’t be separated from it even for two days) and watched it in the VCR that the hotel so kindly let us rent from them.

And then when we went home……I left it at the hotel in the VCR.

I didn’t think that we would survive the horrible upheaval that happened when it was discovered that the tape had been left at the hotel. Wailing and gnashing of teeth! Rending of clothes! Weeping and moaning. I called the hotel as soon as the loss was discovered but by that time the tape was no where to be found.

We went into deep mourning. No more Charleton Heston playing Capt. Al Haynes saying the immortal lines, “This is the hottest damn tricycle in the world!” and “Pull up…pull up…too fast….too fast…!” Would we ever get over the loss? Slowly life returned to normal. The girls got older. We continued to spout odd lines of movie dialogue and when it happened to be from that particular movie we had a moment of silence.

And then I discovered Amazon.

This was still back in the days of….dial up service. Remember a time when it took 30 seconds or more for a page to load? But Amazon was just the most amazing thing. It was mostly books and VHS tapes back then. I was noodling around on day and typed in “Rescue of Flight 232”, which was always what WE had called the movie….and a page loaded with a movie called “A Thousand Heros”……..it was our movie. So what if the only place it shipped from was Australia. I ordered it, once I figured out how to do it.

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This is it. In VHS form only because it is impossible to find it on DVD. Or at least impossible to find it on DVD in a format that will play in the US. We have no VHS player here at Chez Knit but that doesn’t matter. I still kept it just in case. It was my only link. There was no DVD available.

Or at least that is what I thought……until today.

a thousand heros

For the love of Peter, Paul and Elvis Presley! It DOES exist on DVD.

Oh thank you thank you thank you YouTube. I was watching a clip or two from the movie, just to relive old times you know. Like having coffee with an old and dear friend that is parted from you. Too strong? OK, I had a few minutes and thought I would indulge. And as I was watching the plane crash sequence for the 1000th time I noticed that the clip had been uploaded by something called Classic Movies….so I clicked on the link, hoping against all hope that they could help me. I mean, if AMAZON didn’t have what I wanted how could anyone else help me (insert sarcasm here).

And there it was. The DVD version of A Thousand Heroes for the reasonable price of $14.95. I couldn’t get my credit card out fast enough. Oh postal service work your magic. Bring my DVD soon.

Why am I waxing rhapsodic about an idiotic movie about a plane crash that happened 25 years ago…..July 19th, 1989. Yes, do the math. That would be 25 years ago this past Saturday.

And while I am dogging the mailbox for my DVD I will read this…….

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I was first on the waiting list at the library. The book even smells new.

Obsessed? Who is obsessed.

I just like a good story.

Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 268)


Don’t make me come over there and tell you what the rules are. You should know them by now. When you have finished here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my craving for a BLT with my own tomatoes, over to Conversion Diary.

A field full of blather just waiting to be plowed under.

I am again obsessed with making Box bags. You know what those are, right?

Bags, shaped like a box, with a zipper on the top and sewn out of fabric. Usually they have an outer layer and a lining. I have made them before and they are very satisfying except…. most of the patterns that I had been able to find were made so that the inner lining had seams that were visible.

Visible seams bug me. They just make the bag look somehow unfinished to me. But thanks to the internetz I have found a lined box bag tutorial….and I am again obsessed with making them out of some of the vintage fabrics that I have been collecting.

But…..the pattern that I found made a bag that was a bit small for my usual knitting needs. How hard can it be to make a bigger bag, I thought to myself.

Harder than you think.

I had to do math.

I hate math.

The bigger bags turned out cute but sort of flat.

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See what I mean. The bag in front is the littlest one and it’s proportions are pleasing. But the other two bags, even though I like them, are a bit on the “not tall enough” vein. I was stumped.

And then I realized that there was one measurement that I hadn’t changed when I did all the maths for the other measurements. The corners. Duh!

So this afternoon I will make another box bag with different corner sewing dimensions. Let’s hope for the best.

I stopped at the library today to pick up a book that came in.

There was a book sale……..

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I couldn’t help myself.

But that isn’t what I want to rant about for a second…….I want to rant about these people……

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Ignore the lady in the bright blue shirt, she was just doing what the rest of us were doing, perusing the boxes of books. No, the people that really chap my shorts are the ones with those little hand held scanners, or scanners that are plugged right into their phones. When I counted there were SIX of these people in this small room, scanning away and pulling books out of the boxes and putting them in bags that they had stacked up in corners or under the tables. Do you know what they are doing? They are scanning the books to see what the price is. When they find one that they “might” want they take it out, put it in their bag and then just keep it there until they are all done. THEN they go back through and weed out the books that they actually don’t want and leave them in messy piles here and there. Then they take what they do want, pay for them and then resell them for a higher price. But they do not want you to KNOW that that is what they are doing. I overheard a conversation between a legitimate person just shopping and the woman in the top photo who was scanning every book. The scan woman went out of her way NOT to actually tell the other woman what she was doing. I want to be clear on this, I don’t have any problem with these people coming in and buying books from the sale. Whoever buys the books benefits the library. What I do have trouble with is the fact that they don’t buy all the books that they cull out and while they have those books squirreled away the books are not available to those who might want to actually buy them. AND they make a mess that has to be straightened out by the people running the book sale.


Getting down off my soap box now.

I need a cookie.

After the library I had to run over to Office Max to buy a new mouse for my computer. That is boring and not really worth mentioning except for the fact that I stopped at five garage sales on the way back and managed to NOT buy a thing.

Patting myself on the back.

I am amazed at what some people think they might get for something at a garage sale. Lower the prices folks, it is a garage sale.

I was only tempted once, by these…..

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Two Blue Willow chop plates. But I already have 12 of these and I do not need any more of them, despite the nice ladies who were running the sale trying to talk me into them.

I walked away empty handed.

I think I DESERVE a cookie.

Remember this photo from last week….

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My what to ME seems like an egregiously cluttered garage that made me crazy every time I pulled in or out of it….

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In the last week HHBL has sold two bikes and a bike rack on Craigslist. He is totally in love with Craigslist now and already has a list of other things that he is hoping to divest us of.

Operation Clean out continues.

The next place that I am going to start “re-organizing” is the small area in the basement that holds my motley assortment of tools. It is not a happy place for me right now because I have screw drivers mixed in with hammers that are hanging out with wire cutters that are swinging with needle nosed pliers.

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It is a veritable tool box swingers club going on in there…..

I want one of these……

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I want one bad. Look at all those lovely drawers to store things like tools and drills and measuring tapes in. My heart pitter patters faster just thinking about it.

But I have to save up the money first. I have been keeping an eye out for something on the afore mentioned Craigslist but there hasn’t been anything that was any cheaper than what I could buy new.

Sigh, patience is good for me. Patience is good for me.

I realized this week when I was scanning photos…..

I really need to spend some time cleaning up and cleaning out some of the photos that are currently residing on my hard drive. I have a bunch of duplicates of things and there was a certain time in my photography life where I couldn’t bear to delete any photo that I had taken.

Case in point, this photo……


Auntie Poo trying to make Traveler play the little piano.

Or at least I THINK that is what was supposed to be happening. The photo does not convey that and yet it still resides on the hard drive.

Massive photo clean up and out shall be put on the list of things to do over the winter. It is just too nice right now to be stuck in the basement culling photos.

Instagram, how I love thee. Let me count the photos.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Picture Genealogy From the Crypt

Hold on to your genealogical seats. Parental Unit Mimi gave me a box of family photos when last I visited her.

I have been scanning.

You have been warned.

In 1874 Anna Elizabeth Blair, the daughter of this man,

Robert BlairRobert Blair of Blair’s Corners, PA,

Daniel Garis family

…… married Daniel Garis. This is Daniel and Anna with 7 of their 10 children. The third girl from the left would be Bertha…….

Garis sisters

This is Bertha (big white bow) with her sisters, Myra and Tillie.

In 1905 Donald Adolphus Amsler,
Donald Adolphus Amsler 1906

the son of……
Gustavus Adolphus Amsler

Gustavus Adolphus Amsler and Matilda Elizabeth Elss (for whom I have no picture)……

married Bertha Irene Garis

Bertha and Donald Adolphus had four children. There was Hilda Marie, there was Kenneth Alvin, there was Donald Wayne, and there was Eunice Fay (not born yet).

In 1936 Donald Wayne Amsler,

married Elizabeth Julia Mortenson,
who was the daughter of,
AD Mortenson portrait

Adele and Anneus Duabbus Mortenson. This would be AD, who did NOT like to be called by his full name for obvious reasons. He was named after two of his aunts, both named Anna.

Donald Wayne and Elizabeth Julia Mortenson Amsler had three children

There was Donald Stephen, there was Katherine and there was Sue. In this picture you can see Don, you can see Kathy and you…..cannot YET see Sue, if you get my meaning.

Please don’t make me explain it any further than that.

In 1959 Donald Stephen Amsler
DSA and Myrtle the car Aug 56

married Jean Marie Pringle,
image 22-4-2009

the daughter of these wild and crazy kids……

GLP and friends 1928

My grandfather, Glenn, is the one wearing the gingham pinafore. It might explain a lot about me……….

Donald Stephen and Jean Marie had two children……..scan0088Us and the pumpkin63scan0082

One of whom……….
Self Portrait 1

was me.

Friday, July 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 267)


A blog post which finds me rejoicing in a good night’s sleep and whining about LeBron James. What more could you want? You know what is required. When you are done shaking your head at the way I use words inappropriately you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the rising “LeBron Return fever”, over to Conversion Diary to see what has been happing in the world.

Blather that even LeBron James can’t resist.

(Let’s see how many times I can write LeBron James……)

Hurrah for a good night’s sleep!! It is going to take a bunch more to get back to normal sleep health but last night was the first good night of sleep that I have had in over two weeks. I don’t remember coughing all that much, if at all, and I only had to get up once.


Well, I am a post menopausal woman after all.

I am again obsessed with working on the never ending mitered square blanket. There is a sweater that I could be working on but it is the middle of summer and knitting with Aran weight wool in July just doesn’t seem all that exciting to me. Call me crazy but a pile of heavy wool sitting on my lap isn’t all that inviting.

Then there is the ever present pair of socks to work on. I finished my FIFA Feet socks and am very happy with the result. I LOVED this pattern, Melanie’s Twist, except for the fact that there is very little “give” to it. If you are a knitter and you have attempted the Jaywalker socks then you will know what I mean.

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So I did a bit of modification by adding a small, 2 purl stitch border on the sides. That gives a bit of ease. And it makes the pattern repeat pop. In fact, I am going to do these socks again and I am going to add a 2 purl stitch “divider” between each of the pattern repeats. But I have to finish the plain, vanilla socks that are currently on the needles.

So other than those two things it is mitered square blanket all the way.

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I am debating with myself as to whether I want to arise from my sleeping chamber at a really egregiously evil hour just to photograph the Supermoon that will be here tomorrow. There will also be one in August (the biggest they they think) and one in September. The thing is, I cannot be guaranteed that the weather will cooperate. We are not scheduled to have any rain until Sunday and Monday so I might have to take advantage of the clear skies. If I have everything set up and ready to go then I could, if I actually can make myself get up, just haul it all out my front door and take a picture or two.

We will see if I have the discipline to arise from my slumber couch and do it.

Maybe August…….

The Frozen Northeast Ohio is all aflutter about “What LeBron Will Do!”

This is the one and only time that I am going to weigh in on this issue and then I will be done….I hope.

I have always felt that LeBron James had the right to go and play wherever his little heart desired. If he wanted to be in Miami then that was fine. It was the WAY that he announced that move that was so childish and pompous. To go on TV and say that you are going to “take my talent to South Beach” was just a slap in the face of those who had supported you, unquestioningly, when you sometimes acted the spoiled, quitting child. Who suggested to you, Mr. James, that going on ESPN and announcing it that was would be good for your “legacy”. Whoever they were I am hoping that you have kicked them to the curb. No matter how many championships that you win, “The Decision” is still going to be sticking to your legacy like warm gum to the bottom of a shoe.

You need to return to Cleveland and win in Cleveland before that is erased.

Just make the darn decision and stop all this “Will he/won’t he” nonsense. If you aren’t coming back to Cleveland then just say so.

Getting off of the soap box now.

It was a year ago this week that we saw Chez Knit for the first time. I remember walking into the space and knowing it was just right but wondering how we would fit everything in.

Here we are, a year later, and I am wondering what else I can jettison. What other space can I re-arrange to get maximum efficiency.

Next up……

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The garage.

The loss of garage space may be the thing that I have had the hardest time adjusting to here at Chez Knit. At OCK we had a HUGE garage. Three generous bays plus what amounted to another quarter bay of space beyond that. Without any issue we stored bikes and gardening equipment and boxes and garbage cans and all manner of things.

But not so here at Chez Knit. There is room for two cars and the things that you see in this picture. I will admit that we have a bigger garage than some others in the neighborhood. There is a fair amount of space at the back of the garage after we have pulled the cars in. But for the last 10 months it has been a fairly disorganized mess which makes me have the weebie jeebies when I go out there.

Have I told you lately that I hate disorganization?

We sold the car bike rack that we hadn’t used in 5 years and had only used twice. That was taking up space on the wall. HHBL is in the process of selling several bikes and once that is done will be adding a bike to the mix. I am going to then rearrange the shelving and make this a lean, mean garage machine.

I will be so happy.

I might have mentioned that I have a lot of music stored in iTunes. That would be 1000 albums worth of music, not including all that audiobooks (of which there are currently 194). I know these numbers because I just counted them.

Yes, that is a lot of music. And I have very eclectic tastes. The genres cover everything from Classical to Klezmer and all points in between.

And if you are like me and if you have even half the number of albums that I have you probably still listen to only a portion of your music. I know that is what I do. So, I am taking a page out of HHBL’s music “playbook”. I have created a “Listen through” playlist that I routinely add and subtract from. It is music that I haven’t listened to in a long time or perhaps a CD that I have never listened to. And there are a few of those.

HHBL and I have gone through all our CD’s, made sure that we have all that music downloaded and in iTunes Match and we are getting rid of all our CDs. I actually did this with all the CDs that were in “my” collection several years ago. We jut don’t want to store those CDs. We don’t use them to play in the car any longer and they were gathering dust.

But if I don’t listen to the music that I have, if it just sits there and gathers “virtual dust” in iTunes and the cloud, then I am hoarding it just as if it had physical form. So it is listen to it or get rid of it.

Clean out virtually as well as physically.

The weekly Instagram dump. It has again been a light week. I will try to do better.
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