Thursday, August 27, 2009

it takes brains....

And apparently no one at the phone company has any*....Now I know I might be cursing myself by criticizing the phone company, but after the week we've been through I'm willing to take the chance.

Remember back to the day when your home and/or work phone was your primary means of communication? Back when if you were out and you needed to make a phone call, you had to find a public telephone located somewhere along your travels?? Well, Cee and I pretty much still live in those good old days. Yes we have a cellphone....A cellphone, as in one...and we only take it along as an afterthought; you know, so we don't need to find a public phone...I know, we are an anomaly these days, freaks, if you will. I keep threatening to bring us into the present and get us both iphones, or some other kind of smart phone, but for now we are just happy the way we are.

Well last week I noticed that we were getting some static on the line at home . I didn't think too much of it, but then it started getting worse, and by Saturday night when I was on the phone with my friend it was really bad. Sunday morning it was complete static and there was no dial tone. Bright and early Monday morning, I headed over to Cee's mum's house to call the phone company....and so it began.

I always cringe when I have to call any large conglomerate like the phone company, you know what I'm talking about; you get put on hold and told how important your call is, asked if you want to be spoken with in French, (or whatever other language your country supports), told your call is in sequence, press 1 for this, 2 for that, etc. I got a pleasant robotic female who told me I only had to say what I wanted and she would gladly oblige, so I did and when it came to the part where she asked me for a contact number, I simply said:

"If I had a contact number, I wouldn't need to call you."

Pleasant Female Robotic Voice: ".............I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that, can you repeat it?"

Me: "I don't have a contact number"

P.F.R.V.: "..................I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that, can you repeat it?"

Me.: "No number!" Shouting now, like it's going to make a difference.

P.F.R.V.: ".................I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that, can you repeat it?"

Me: "Expletive."

So I hung up and called back and managed to get put through to whatever country they are outsourcing their customer service, and got a very pleasant man who at first seemed to have it all together. I explained to him that I was calling from someone else's house, our line was completely dead and we needed someone to come out and take a look. He asked me if we had checked the demarcation box to see if it was working. I told him that we had gone down to the demarcation box and everything was plugged in. He asked if we had plugged a phone into the box, I told him no. He said,

"Can you go do that now?"

I said: "Well, you see, here's my problem with that: I just explained to you that I'm not in my house. Now, if you really want, I can get in the car, drive all the way back home and plug a phone in the box. Then, if it doesn't work, I guess I'll have to get back in the car and drive all the way over here again and call you back, unless you'd like to hold on while I do that?" ....I was joking, it never hurts to insert a little levity where you can....

He said: "No, no need to do that, the tech will do that for you." ....guess he didn't think I was funny.....

Things proceeded fine, and we arranged a convenient 8-hour window in which we should be home to expect the tech to be at our house, and then he said,

"Can I have a contact number?"

Me: Sigh....."Well here's my problem with that; My cellphone's battery is dead, and I'm calling from my mother-in-law's house, and she's going out this afternoon, so if the tech calls here she might not be here to answer, and even if she did answer, how is she supposed to let me know the tech has called, because our home line is dead?"

Him: "Can I have that number?"

Me: "Which one, the cellphone that's dead, or my M.I.L's number that no-one will answer?"

Him: "Yes."

Me: Sigh.

Him: "Ma'am?"

Me: "Here you go, I'll give you both, but the tech won't get through, so it's useless."

Him: "Thank you." They are nothing if not polite.

So anyway, I came back home and proceeded to wait, noticing that we'd been blissfuly free from annoying telemarketing calls the last week, and seriously considering going and calling the phone company back to cancel the tech, but he arrived and was very good at his job and fixed the line. Turned out it was just plain old wear and tear on the line that had opened it up, so he just had to do a bit of repair. Voila, we are now able to receive all the calls the telemarketers can fling at us.

Want to know the kicker? My mother-in-law called me later that evening to let me know that when she got home the tech called and said:

"I hear you're having trouble with your phone?"

M.I.L: "No."

Tech: long pause "I got a call you were having trouble....."

M.I.L: "No, that would be my son, they called from here you see, because their line is dead."

Tech: "Oh, okay....well I'm on my way if you want to let them know."

M.I.L.: "How would I do that? Their phone is dead."

Tech: "Oh...oh yeah....well, I'm on my way"

He called back a few minutes later to tell her he was having trouble finding her which she replied that she could tell him how to get there, but the trouble was at ours....but if he'd like she'd make him a cup of tea and they could have a nice visit. He politely declined. Like I said, it takes brains.

I made some new hats to use up stash. I had intended only to make one. This one, in fact:

This is the Druidess Beret. It calls for dk weight, which I used. When it was all said and done it was a bit smallish for my taste, although still cute. I like them insanely slouchy. So I cast on another one in worsted and upped the needle size to 5.00 mm for the body and crown decreases.

It came out more tam-like, and so it's perfect. It will be great for holding in my brains, which apparently are in short supply these days.

If you would like to hold in your brains with this beret, you can find the pattern here: Druidess Beret
* If you work for the phone company and are reading this, I'm sure you are an exception to the rule!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

in which i am pun intended's been waaay too long since I've posted. I throw myself upon your mercy (if there are any of you left checking this blog) and apologize whole-heartedly....although I have a sneaking suspicion that your lives have gone on perfectly fine without my blathering entries....still-- so sorry my friends. I have been reading your blogs and posting comments when I could, just not keeping up with things around By Hook or By Crook! I vow to be better in the future, and will try to post at least once a week, pinky swear. No real excuses on my part, except to say that life has been weird....chaotic, strange...much like this picture:

All this crap was on my little table beside the couch....I snapped this picture when I was feeling fed up one day and realized I felt it was how my brain probably looked at that moment.
Of course there's yarn in it, what did you expect?

I won't go on ad-nauseum about what I've been up to since March, but here's a couple things I did.....

I got up close and personal with our resident chipmunk, whom I called Theo.....well, as close as me taking this picture through our back screen door...

Here he is telling me to put down the damn camera and bring him some peanuts already, jeez, I'm slow!

Then one day while keeping a watch out for our ducks, I spotted this little guy out front eating plants and had a little conversation with him:

A little bit hard to see on account of his natural camoflage I suppose, but it's a little bunny!! I dubbed him Buster, as in "Hey Buster!! Stop eatin' my green thingies!!" Don't you just love my technical gardening jargon? I am still flabbergasted as to why all these wild critters keep showing up around our place, it's not like we're out in the middle of nowhere...unless "nowhere" is in the middle of a busy street in a smallish city....

One thing I didn't do was sign up with Twitter....maybe I'm getting old (maybe??) but I just don't see the point....or maybe my life isn't that exciting that I need to be updating my status every 20 minutes....

I have been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting (duh!) and will post more pictures in the following entries...don't want to bore you all at once now...what fun would that be!

Cee's brother practically begged me on his hands and knees asked me if I could make him some socks like I had made for cee so I happily obliged him. No pictures as I used the Mock Wave Cable pattern from Favorite Socks that I've shown here previously, and aside from being a relatively fun pattern to knit, in dark grey they are hopelessly boring. I do love the pattern though, and from the last pair I'd made Cee I had almost 2/3 of a skein left, so decided to just use the same colour.....can you tell where this is going??

Cee came with me to buy the yarn, and just happened to be wearing his socks, so when I held the skein up to his socks and saw that the skein was much darker, I figured "Oh, it's faded in the should be okay"....famous last words. I bought two skeins of Patons Gentry Grey kroy socks and got to knitting. I finished the first sock and was about half way through the second when I needed the partial skein of off I went to dig it out.....that's when I realized.....

Can you tell the BIG difference in colour? Cee's socks hadn't faded at all....same colour, same yarn, different label...WAY different shade....sigh. So back to the store I went. Then I finished the sock and realized that even though Cee's brother's feet are much smaller than his, I had way less yarn Then I had a bit closer look at both labels....

Those sneaky Patons so-and-so's have decreased the yardage from 192 to 166! or 175 to 152, that sucks! I notice they also haven't listed the weight on the new label.....sneaky sneaky petes!

Anyway, I got over the trauma of the kroy socks and coasted into summer feeling pretty good...and then it happened. And no, I'm not talking about the death of a certain pop king, although that was tragic and weird. I got hit with Sciatica....or at least that's what they think it is/was.
In early July I was completely minding my own business (like I always do, snort!) and getting out of the shower, dried off and hanging up the towel (oh no, did I put an image in your brain? Sorry!) and doing nothing in particularly special at all and all of a sudden I felt like someone had plunged a knife into my lower back/side (top of my rear basically--oh no, another image!) Very soon it became apparent that something was seriously wrong...mostly because every time I put my left foot down on the floor I screamed in pain.... The pain travelled down my leg and very quickly I couldn't walk or even stand up straight. This was the scene for about 4 or 5 days....couldn't stand, couldn't sit, lean, lay, get comfortable, sit, do much of anything except cry in frustration and take anti-inflamatories that never really took the pain away and depend upon my knight in shining armour Cee to take care of me, which he did, very brilliantly. Every day it seemed to get just a little bit better, and I kept trying to do a bit more and push through the pain when I could, and now six weeks later I am very much improved, although I have to take it slow at times on the stairs and not sit or lay in one spot too long....there is a little numbness around my knee region too, which is also frustrating...I am told it can take up to 3 months to completely recover....Cee's aunt has had it off and on for a year and a half...../me shudders!!

The worst part of this is I have no amusing or entertaining anecdote as to how it all happened, I mean, taking a shower? Man, I should have been base jumping or something! Like that would ever happen...but seriously, that's as bad as walking and breaking your hip....I hate getting old! This didn't just come out of the blue, I have had issues with sciatic pain going back to my mid twenties, but nothing as bad as what I went through this summer.

Let's hope the Fall season will bring a bit more normalcy for all of us.

Until next time, don't make fun of that old lady on tv that says she's fallen and can't get up, it might come back to bite you in the ass one day!