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The dress for the volunteer sewing turned out to be more challenging than I had expected. The pleated crepey fabric was so hard to keep square while cutting it out that I was dubious about following the pattern directions to make the lining free from the dress except at the neckline, so I densely pinned the crepey pieces to the cotton lining fabric keep the pleats in the fabric even and the whole shebang square, then serged all the seams I could. (Read that as "everything except the zipper insertion, attaching the straps and hemming".) I won't see how the finished pieces look being worn until the cast photos come back from printing since I was helping with food sales at the meeting and was in the foyer during the show, but several people that saw the show Tuesday night told me the pieces I made look fabulous. Phew.

edit, 16 March: here's a photo of swatches of all three fabrics used in the dress.


At the pack committee meeting this week, I was asked if I'd like to work with the Tigers after my den crosses over to Boy Scouting next month. I said I'd be happy to, but if another den that has a new Scout who's an ESL student could use me more, I'm reasonably fluent in Spanish. One of the committee members asked, "Is there anything you CAN'T do?". I replied that I haven't learned how to drive a stick shift yet so that's why Vogon drives me everywhere. They laughed. I was serious.


This week has been interesting for computers.

Wednesday: we picked up a self-installation kit for cable internet access from Comcast and a wireless router, card, and print server at Fry's. I shuffled drives to get my existing system set up for Laurel to use and put my primary hard drive from that system into the nearly-finished system that had been sitting in the dining room, getting the older system up and running in Laurel's room without a hitch but I couldn't get the newer system to boot.

I reported that issue to Vogon, who suggested we pick up a new motherboard at our nearby computer parts store. (It's a few minutes away, versus 20 minutes' drive to Fry's.) He installed the chipset for me and I followed the installation directions for everything else, but I still couldn't get the darn thing to boot and I was getting inconsistent results detecting the hard drives when I tried different jumper and cable settings. I was rather upset for the remainder of the afternoon between my back pain (Vogon accidentally triggered muscle spasms giving me a backrub while we were waiting to pick up Laurel) and frustration with the computer.

Thursday: Vogon looked at the jumpers and cables in the morning and informed me the IDE cable was broken. Later, he took my primary hard drive and put it in an external drive enclosure to see if he could get one of his computers to recognize it. After getting nothing, he suggested my drive was hosed. I threw myself into cleaning and neatly bundled up all the cables from my old computer since I've obviously gotten in way over my head and he cut the wire ties so there were cables hanging everywhere behind my desk. (Since getting my current desk last year, I've kept the cables bundled to its tubular frame with wire ties to keep things neat.)

He commented several times during the day that I wasn't doing anything to fix my computer, but I didn't know what to do that I hadn't already tried. That evening, he suggested I install Windows XP on the new drive in the system so I could set up the wireless router (my system is centrally located to the rest of the house) and we'd figure out some way to get the data off my old drive.

Today: the new system has a clean drive with Windows XP bugging me to activate it (I need to buy a new product key), Firefox and drivers for my printer and the router installed. My primary hard drive is still sitting in an external drive enclosure which Device Manager recognizes as a USB Mass Storage Device, but doesn't show up as a drive in Windows Explorer. I'm out of ideas. Suggestions are welcome.


A few links blogged for future reference:

- The Best Word Book Ever,1963 and 1991.
- How I Gamed the SAT
- Are You a Marryin' Fool?

Apparently the interlocking bookends I keep trying to retrieve from the glurge of my long-ago library memory are Miracle Bookends. I would request a Brodart catalog but I suspect that after it arrived I would just want to stroke it tenderly and wish I knew how to quit it.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
"wish I knew how to quit it."

Oh man, how hard am I laughing?
Mar. 4th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Hurrah! I haven't seen the movie, but the line's been stuck in my head ever since Bookslut editor Michael Schaub used that line in several posts in one day at their blog (bookslut). Imagine these showing up one by one over the course of the day in my Friends view:

Sienna Miller has revealed she loves to read poetry - when she's drunk. . . .

She revealed: "It sounds so pretentious but it's one of my favourite things. I've got this group of friends who are quite Bohemian and we get drunk, get the poetry books out and read."

Oh, yeah! That is just so Bohemian! Do you think they wear berets? And play bongos? And say "dig"?

Who's responsible for introducing celebrities to poetry? Was it Ally Sheedy? Whoever it was, I wish I knew how to kick you.

Posted by Michael Schaub | link

[snip three posts]

The descendants of DH Lawrence are angry about a sex shop selling "Lady Chatterley" lingerie, though Frida Kahlo's niece is fine with the brand of tequila named after her aunt. Meanwhile, Hemingway is posthumously selling furniture, Jane Austen is posthumously selling everything, and I wish I knew how to quit you.

Posted by Michael Schaub | link

I wish I knew how to quit Philip Roth. Steve Shymanik, writing about the new Library of America reissues of Roth's early work, doesn't know how either.

As for his place in the canon, one could persuasively argue that Roth has written more great novels than Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway combined. I'm serious.

And the thing is, unlike Hawthorne and Melville, Roth's work isn't so boring it makes you want to shove sharpened pretzel sticks into your eyes.

Posted by Michael Schaub | link

Carolyn Mackler's popular YA novel The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things is too hot for Carroll County, Maryland — and students are pissed. Man. If that offends the delicate sensibilities of the Carroll County superintendent of schools, I'd hate to see how he'd react to, say, Brokeback Mountain. I wish I knew how to quit you! Oh, man, I just can't stop with that. It's just so good.

Posted by Michael Schaub | link

I finally saw a preview for Brokeback Mountain. And I honestly wish I could hear Jake Gyllenhaal say "I wish I knew how to quit you" without laughing. I do. But I'm not at that point yet.

Anyway, here's a review of a book about gay cowboys. They're so hot this year!

Posted by Michael Schaub | link
Mar. 4th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
Love it! And THANK YOU, sweetness, for the virtual gift! It means a lot to me.
Mar. 4th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
You are the Goddess of Pinning. You must have amazing patience and tenacity, because the mere mention of the words 'crepey fabric' make me shudder!

Driving a stick is easy once you get the hang of it. A long, long, long ago boyfriend taught me how to drive stick on an old MG convertible. He told me it was like ballet - he was right. It's all about being graceful and having good timing with your moves. You should get Vogon to take you to an empty parking lot and give it a whirl - you'll never want to drive automatic again after you learn!
Mar. 4th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
I am Tired of Pinning for the time being. I like the sound of "amazing patience and tenacity" much better than "stubborn and thick-headed", which is how a lot of people describe me. (I'll agree with stubborn. Not so sure about the latter.)

Driving in general makes me feel anxious, but it would be good for me to stop putting it off and learn how to drive a stick.

What kind of MG was it? Vogon had one many years ago. (:
Mar. 4th, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
sirndipiti has a stick that I need to learn to drive, too.

And then learn the African clicking language.

But, you still have me beat, sweetums!
Mar. 4th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
And then learn the African clicking language.

Which one? African clicking languages are actually found in three families: Khoisan, Bantu, and Cushitic. You could get a doctorate in Nàmá, one of the Khoisan languages, at the University of Namibia. I bet you'd fit right in there! Hee. (:

What have I got you beat at? I am confused.
Mar. 5th, 2006 05:04 am (UTC)
What have I got you beat at?

EVERYthing. You are a walking encyclopedia, a woman with eight arms and a golden heart, and an amazing person overall.
Mar. 4th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
Do you cut with scissors or on a self-healing mat with a rotary cutter? I just made a couple of patterns, and bought an enormous mat. It makes it so much easier to cut things perfectly. Also, I like not having to deal with pinning the pattern. I use my big plastic ruler to help guide my cutting. I'm going to make a slew of button down cotton shirts. I made two yesterday.
Mar. 5th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
Most of the time, I cut with scissors after pinning on a cardboard cutting mat. We have a 24x36" self-healing mat and a couple of rotary cutters, but until I get more used to cutting with them they're mostly used for cutting straight lines or rough outlines of pieces I want to line.

I'm still getting comfortable with making buttonholes. Mom taught me how to use the buttonhole attachment on the machine I learned to sew on was okay, then I did them by hand for awhile and only started using a machine for them again a few years ago when I got my Brother.
Mar. 5th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
If you get used to a rotary cutter, you'll love cutting your pattern pieces on one. It's so much more accurate than scissors.

Buttonholes are a bitch. I can do them, but I hate doing them. I used to always forget how to do them. I'd have to look it up every time I did one.
Mar. 4th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
Second hardest thing about driving a stick? Starting from a dead stop.

First hardest thing about driving a stick? Starting from a dead stop while facing uphill.
Mar. 6th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
I taught stick.

On a hill, r foot on brake, l foot on clutch.

Let clutch up until engine slows.

Foot off brake, give it a little gas, let clutch up a bit more, repeat until car is going the direction you want. :-) Takes some practice, I had a few favorite hills to inflict on my students.

Trick way is to be able to hit the gas and brake at the same time, heel and toe, or using either side of the ball of your foot, what ever works.
Mar. 5th, 2006 10:37 am (UTC)
Have you been trying to get a drive formatted with an Ultra-33 controller recognized by an Ultra-66 controller?
Mar. 5th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
Vogon says no.
Mar. 9th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC)
It's in an external shell, so the controller is out of the picture -- it's all USB.

But, perhaps we should check by putting it back into the old machine, just to be sure. Now that I think about it, there HAS to be a controller involved and the one that's in the shell is probably pretty advanced (it's USB2 and up to 300GB, so it's actually probably USB 133).
Mar. 9th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
I resolved a similar-sounding problem by obtaining an old ValueStor externaling shell (used long enough to copy the contents of the drive, which was then reformatted). The akwardnesses of this solution are:
  1. The ValueStor driver was written for Win95. (I believe that it is compatible with all Win9x.)
  2. The cable connects to a parallel port.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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