Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good News and Bad News

Suddenly, everything seems to be either good news or bad news.

The good news for yesterday and my health is that I did get to the VA Hospital and get my ears examined. The good news connected with that is that the nerve damage hearing loss is almost exactly the same as it was four years ago. In other words, it's not getting worse. The bad news is that the bone that has grown over my right ear two years ago is blocking most of the sound from getting to that ear.

The good news is that the doctor was able to fix the left hearing aid, and hike up the sound on the right one so that I can hear something in that ear. The bad news is that it's impossible to hike it up enough to really correct my hearing in the right ear. But at least I can hear something, and the left ear is corrected.

She said I have to have another talk with an ENT doctor about the possibility of an operation in that ear to remove the bone that's blocking the hearing in my right ear. The ENT I spoke to didn't recommend it, but I'd like to hear more before I completely rule it out. Also, if I do rule it out, I need a note from the doctor saying that I'm not getting an operation in order to be eligible to get replacement hearing aids that are more suited to my changed hearing.

If I don't get the operation, I will be eligible for different aids to cope with my changing hearing problems. That's good news. The bad news is that it will entail two visits to the VA Hospital to get them. I know that sounds like a minor problem, and I should be grateful. I am, but it took 4 hours of traveling in a car to get there and back yesterday. On public transportation, that's 8 to 12 hours of traveling per trip!

So, anyway, at the moment, I have hearing aids that mostly correct my hearing and are reasonably functional, and an appointment (for December 2) to see the doctor about new aids if I decide not to have the surgery. I hate the idea of surgery, but if it would really fix things, I'd prefer that. The doctor didn't seem to think it would be as successful as I hope, though, so I need to find out more.

The bad news about yesterday and my health is that I woke up with the gland under my right ear swollen (again!) and hurting, and my health slid downhill all day. It sprinkled rain all day yesterday, usually not so much that you really wanted to bother to put up an umbrella, but enough to make you damp and chilly all day.

By the end of the day, my ear hurt, I had a vague, nagging headache, my post-nasal drip was doing it's best to drown me, and I was exhausted! I went to sleep early.


On the way home from the VA Hospital yesterday, I got a text message from Holly saying that she had someone who was interested in the car, and he was on the way out to see it! So, I showed the car to a very nice guy named Mike, who liked it and later met with Holly and paid for the car and got a set of keys. He came by today and picked up the other keys from me.

The good news is that Holly sold her car, and is now not as broke as she's been since getting the new car. The bad news is that I no longer have transportation. That's not so bad, though. At least I had the use of a car for a short while.


Saturday is the Fall Fiber Fest! The good news about that is that it's the Fall Fiber Fest! The bad news is that it's been raining for two days, which is what caused the previous Fall Fiber Mud Festival. I've been to the Sheep and Wool Festival when it rains, but that's based on actual ground, real dirt. The FFF is based on something weird. It might be either clay, or quicksand or some combination of the two. That year, they weren't letting anything without four wheel drive off the road, and with good reason. My SUV nearly got stuck. And if you stopped moving for even a second, you could feel yourself start to sink! Everybody was covered in mud to their knees!

So, Holly, if you're reading this, much as I'd like to go to the FFF, I won't be very disappointed if you decide that you don't want to go. We could go pick up some graph paper and I'll graph out a heart border for your cowl if you want.


This afternoon, Syfy is rebroadcasting the pilot episode of The Event at 4:00! The IMdB link is here, but that doesn't even begin to tell you what it's about!

It starts off as a standard thriller/action/adventure, following a guy who, little by little, uncovers a terrorist plot to kill the president by hijacking a plane and crashing it into him. At the last moment, when the plane is less than 50 feet away, the air glows and looks like a heat shimmer, the plane flies into it, and disappears! A woman watching it says "They did this!" and that's the end of the first episode.

Considering that the guy that finds all this out is trying to ask his girlfriend to marry him throughout the first episode, it really has everything: action, adventure, suspense, science fiction, and a romance! It's very fast-paced and seems to be shaping up to have a lot of plot twists! Don't miss it!


Considering that most of the symptoms I developed yesterday aren't gone, and I had to get up early today, I think I'm going to take a nap.

Have a great evening with all the fun stuff that's coming up on TV tonight!



Here's some good news! There will be a new R2D2 phone out real soon now! Find out about it here! In case you don't want to spend a lot of money on a new phone, if you have an Android based phone, there will be a new Empire Strikes Back available soon, too!


Another Addition:

If you're on Ravelry, you can get the most up-to-date reports on the ground quality of the Fall Fiber Fest site here.

A lot of people seem to be encouraged by the fact that it's expected to be sunny on the day of the festival. Well, it was sunny on the day of the muddy festival, too. The problem seems to happen when it's rained for a few days before the event, which is what's happening this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Touring Occoquan!

We've had a few days of rain, and will have two more after today, but today was mostly sunny, so I took the opportunity to go to Occoquan and walk around and take some pictures. This will be a post full of photos of Occoquan because of that.

I parked in front of the park, where this cute little gazebo resides. Here's a closer view of the weathervane on top.

Here's a view of two of the shops near the end of the street.

And a close up of the one on the right.

The names of some of the shops and some of the signs that hang outside them are wonderful!

Here's some of the ornate ironwork and other decoration down at that end of the street.

One of the shops had a garden gnome in the window.

Working our way back down the street, here's one of the restaurants.

And the entrance to one of the shops is made to look like a lighthouse.

Nautical things are a favorite theme because the town of Occoquan is right on the Occoquan River. It's pretty small at this point, but gets to be more like a river down further.

The sky was unbelievable today. Full of clouds of all descriptions, many looking like storm clouds!

There's a restaurant that opens to the main street of the town, but also has places where you can dock your boat and dine.

Next to it, is the closest thing that Occoquan has to a strip mall.

The turret on the corner of the "mall" is quite photogenic all by itself, too.

And out in the middle of the river, there's a tiny island.

In the middle of town, there's a courtyard that has another gazebo in it.

They've had a recent building boom and put up some townhouses that are very interesting. Here's a balcony on one of them. You can see a bit of the turret on one of them on the right, too.


I hope you got a chance to see The Event last week and last night! It starts out like it's going to be a good, but standard action adventure movie with a terrorist plot to kill the president, and seconds before the terrorists are about to succeed, it takes an abrupt left turn into science fiction! What would be really good is suddenly fabulous! They'll be rerunning this week's episode on Saturday or Sunday, so you can catch that, at least. Check your TV guides!

Stargate Universe has been having a marathon on the Syfy channel all day today, and will show the season premier tonight! Don't miss it!

No Ordinary Family is premiering as I write this. I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was so late!

I have to get going so I can watch all this!


Tomorrow, I'll be spending the whole day at the VA Hospital in DC, getting my ears checked, and, if I'm lucky, maybe they'll be able to adjust the right one and get that working so I can hear something in that ear. If I'm really lucky, they might be able to fix the left one!

So, you probably won't hear anything from me tommorrow!

In the meantime, have fun!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We're Having Rain, Not Zombies Today!

On Friday, the weather forecast for Sunday said it was going to cool off considerably, with a high of 64, but no rain. Yesterday, it said it was going to be closer to 70 today with scattered rain in the afternoon. Today, it was raining by 8 am, and was supposed to rain all through the morning and a lot of the afternoon. Actually, it's supposed to rain on Monday and Tuesday, too.

I called Tim around 9 am, and he said the zombies were all going to be filmed outdoors, and, because of the rain, that wasn't possible. So, he didn't need any zombies today, and because he needed me to put makeup on the zombies, I wasn't needed, either.

Considering that I got up at 8 am, ate, took a shower and checked over all my equipment (cell phone charged, batteries in both cameras, packed w/extra batteries, etc), I was really disappointed. It was better than having Holly drive an hour and me ride for a half hour with her and then find out, but not a lot. We went back to sleep.

So, principle filming on Nudist Camp Zombie Massacre will not be finished today. Tim is doing some indoor filming, and that's good, but the rest will have to be rescheduled. I hope the changing seasons don't make a continuity problem for him!


I did some errands yesterday.

First, I stopped at the local yarn store in Manassas. The last time I was in there, they had Addi lace needles in every size and length you could imagine. They appear not to have ordered another Addi lace needle since then, and I think they had three assorted ones, none of which were a size 7 in a 16 inch length. They told me the lace needles were a fad that hadn't caught on yet. The last time Holly and I tried to go there, they were closed. It's shaping up to be a total loss as far as a local yarn store is concerned.

So, I went and spent the money I would have spent on a needle on some sock yarn at AC Moore. The two major projects I'm currently doing are either too big at this point to conveniently drag around (the Celtic sweater that I wanted the needle for), or too much of a mess to lug around (the wings wrap which requires a big chart and a way to mark my place). Since there are at least two meetings at the apartment building that I want to attend this week, and an all-day trip to the VA hospital for hearing tests, I'll need something portable to take to all these places to knit. Socks are perfect!

I really don't like to do intarsia (which is what the wings wrap is), but I'm going to love it once it's done. I just have to be really hard on myself and make myself do it!

This is what it looks like at the moment:

Since I couldn't get the yarn specified in the pattern, I changed it a bit. First, I'm putting a seed stitch border around it so it'll have a bit less tendency to roll on the edges. Second, I changed the background color to lavender, and I'm using 4 shades of black-to-white for the wings (which means I'm changing the chart a lot). I'm also making it about 4 inches longer (2 extra inches on each end). But there's still a lot to knit. I really have to force myself to do it.


Just as there was nothing much to watch on TV this weekend, the library came through with 3 DVDs to loan me.

I watched Coraline last night, finally! I've been wanting to see it for a while. I read the book and loved it, and my friend, Kent Burton, worked on it. So I feel like I have to keep up with what my friends are doing.

That's a photo of Kent doing animation on Coraline from the new book that's out. And below is a photo of John in the foreground with Kent behind him.

John's just a silhouette in the photo, and you can't see much of Kent, but I like this photo anyway.

Now that I've gotten to see the movie (finally!) I really enjoyed it.

The other two movies I got from the Library are Star Trek, and Howl's Moving Castle.

Holly and I saw Star Trek in the theater, and I have to say the story was a stroke of genius. It lets all the previous stories stand while managing to wipe the slate clean, and pave the way for all-new stories about the original crew (although they have to use different actors). It's a movie that is so good that I can't wait to see it another ten times!

A year or two ago, I read a book called Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and loved it! I just recently found out that there had been a movie made of it! It's about a young woman named Sophie, who is transformed, through magic into an old woman. She goes to see Howl in his moving castle in the hopes of being young again, and details her adventures on this journey.

The book was very good. I've loved everything I've ever read by Diana Wynne Jones, and this was no exception! One of my favorites was Fire and Hemlock. It's kind of an ordinary story of magic. I also enjoyed the Chrestomanci books.


Well, I'm going to go watch some movies and knit. I hope you're having as much fun with this weekend as I am!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hope You Had a Happy Equinox!

Yesterday was the Equinox, and I hope you had a good one.

Yesterday, Jupiter was the closest to Earth it has been for 47 years, and the closest it will be in our lifetimes.

I have a camera with a looooong lens, but this was the best photo I could get of it last night. It looked very bright when I was just looking at it, but the photo made it almost invisible. I had to hike up the contrast drastically in PhotoShop to be able to see it. I was hoping to be able to see the moons, but just couldn't. It's possible that the light fog that was present was responsible for that.

While I was out there and taking photos, I took a picture of the moon and Jupiter together:

I had to hike up the contrast to be able to see Jupiter in this one, too, in spite of the fact that Jupiter and the Moon looked equally bright to me. I only messed with the contrast on Jupiter, not the moon in the photo above. The sort of halo around the moon is because of the mist we were experiencing where I live at the time.

Tonight, though, the moon will be full, and maybe the mist won't happen. We'll see. And although Jupiter was at it's very closest last night, it's not like it's moving directly away from us, so it'll still be pretty close in case you missed it last night!


Tonight, we have a bonanza of good shows on! Season premiers include Bones, Fringe, The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, and (I think) The Mentalist! Vampire Diaries premiered last week, so there will be a new episode, but not a premier.

While we're on the subject of the media, my friend, Tim Davis is currently filming a zombie movie (Nudist Camp Zombie Massacre), and the last day of principle filming will be on Sunday. I'll be going (doing make up), and I just found out that Tim needs some extra zombies, so I'm going to ask Holly if she wants to be a zombie for the movie. Yes, Holly, you will get a credit on the movie if you do this!

I'll be taking my cameras along, and snapping lots of pictures. I already told Tim I'd give him copies of all the photos that turn out well. I'll see if it's all right with him to show some of them on my blog. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun, plus I'll get to add more credits to my IMdB page!


As you can see, there's not much happening around here, just celestial events and zombie movies! I probably won't get a chance to blog tomorrow, though.

Have fun tomorrow and I hope your weekend is as fun as mine's going to be!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jumpin' Jupiter!

This week, Jupiter will be the closest it's been to earth in 50 years! Read all about it here! A lot of the show will be visible through binoculars. I wish I had a pair! More info here, too!

That's all! I just didn't want you to miss it!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and I hope you have good weather and get to see Jupiter!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Robert DesRoches!

Yesterday, or early today, my ex-husband, Steve, put this up on his Facebook page:

For anyone who hasn't heard through Harlie: Robert Darin DesRoches was born perfect at 7:29PM Sunday September 19. Mother and Son are both doing fine, and will be home by Thursday

Here's a photo of the happy dad and his new son:

What a head of hair that kid has! 

Best wishes to Steve, Harlie, and Robert!


The season premier of Chuck was on tonight, and it was the usual Chuck wonderfulness! I meant to get this post up well before it came on, but time got away from me.

I saw a half-hour show on NBC over the weekend, and it was just one big advertisement of the NBC Fall season. According to that show, the whole Fall season will be terrible! Even the trailer for Chuck was bad. If I hadn't seen the show, I never would have bothered to tune in. All the trailers were a series of two second cuts of action scenes, interspersed with an occasional 5 second cut with a few words of dialog. In other words, it was a half hour of them barraging you with nonsensical junk! Chuck is apparently the only thing worth watching on NBC for the forseeable future.

Tomorrow, there will be a Warehouse 13 marathon on Syfy during the day, followed by what is probably really the season finale of Warehouse 13 in the evening. I'll be sad that the season's over for it. I really enjoy Warehouse 13!


I've been working on the wrap from the Fall Vogue Knitting, and what little of the front of it looks marvelous! Since it's colorwork, the back, of course, is a mess! Photos soon!

Right now, I just want to get this post up!

Have a teriffic Tuesday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

100 Days Until Christmas!

You probably don't usually scroll down to the bottom of the page, but if you did, you'd find a nice little widget counting down the remaining time until Christmas.

And there's only 100 days left!

That might sound like a lot to some of you out there, but for anybody who makes all or even most of their Christmas presents, it's getting to be the last minute!

Last night and this morning, I worked on my Christmas present list. I still haven't thought of presents for some people, but I've already rounded up ideas and materials to make some presents. Not that I'm going to start instantly. I'm still working on the Celtic sweater, and I have another project lined up after that.

But I thought all you knitters and crafters out there deserved the same jolt I just got.

There's great TV tonight, with some season premiers (see yesterday's post), so have a fun evening!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Miscellaneous Middle of the Week

I don't have a real direction for a post today, but a lot of random thoughts, so I'm starting this and will add more thoughts throughout the day.


I watched some of the 911 documentaries on the History Channel on Saturday, and saw for the first time the film of George W. Bush when he was informed initially about what was happening. It was on film because he was with a bunch of grade school kids in Florida and they were already filming it.

When informed, he looked thoughtful for a moment, and then nodded as if to say "OK, everything's on schedule." and that was all. I know he was in front of a bunch of kids and probably didn't want to scare them, but I would have at least expected a momentary look of surprise if he hadn't known what would happen in advance.


I'm getting so excited about going to the Fall Fiber Fest on the second of October! I just can't wait!

I found a free pattern for one of the most beautiful and unusual scarves (and yarns) ever! You can find the information here, but you'll have to sign up for a free membership to get the free pattern. To act as an incentive, here are photos of it:

The yarn is what makes this so beautiful, and it's a new yarn out by Bernat called Mosaic. I saw the actual yarn at AC Moore and at JoAnn Fabrics.

They also have a beautiful hat pattern (which doesn't appear to be free) for the same yarn. The hat is done in a different color than the scarf, but you could certainly do them in the same color. The hat pattern also has a matching scarf pattern.

The pattern for this is in the booklet section, and it appears you have to buy it, although it's out of stock. If you buy the mosaic yarn, you'll find many patterns on the ball band, so you might want to check that out first. It looks like this yarn would look fabulous in entrelac!

The photos they show of the different colors really don't give you much of an idea of how they'll ultimately look, so if you click the free patterns tab or the booklet tab, you can see other patterns (which you might or might not like) that will give you a better idea of how the colors look made up. The scarf pattern I showed first is made in Ambrosia, and the hat is made in Mosaic, and I have a hard time deciding which I like better. There's also the Ninja colorway, which I love, too. Here it is made into a cowl:


There's a contest that's just started to win a Macintosh Trackpad! Of course, I entered immediately! Click the link and enter!


He's back! The season premier of Chuck will be on Monday! It looks like it may be the first or one of the first programs back for the new Fall Season!

As far as TV tonight goes, it's time to break out the DVDs! Nothing worth watching at all!

But tomorrow night, it picks up with the season premier of The Vampire Diaries (OK, so Chuck wasn't the first, after all). At the same time as that, the last two episodes of Fringe will be on in preparation for next week's premiere, and also reruns of The Big Bang Theory leading up to next week's premiere. Three things on at once, and I want to see all of them! Hard choices!

Dig out a DVD and have a great evening!