Thursday, January 29, 2015

For Ruthie


I've been discussing various cross stitch designs from Lanarte's Cultures collection to Benway's NKF cross stitch design I've been trying not to start, the Oriental Beauty. Benway is a company I've not stitched before so we will see how it goes.  I found her on Amazon and was immediately entranced by the style and grace of the piece.

All full stitches and the pattern is color coded. Should be interesting when I get to it. It's been tugging at me since it arrived and I'm fighting the urge to start it NOW before I've finished what I am already stitching.  I might even get busy and photograph the other 3 pieces.

In other news, I finally found a kit for a geisha I wanted that goes with the 12 x 12 geisha I've already worked from Dimensions Gold. Unfortunately, Dimensions doesn't have it in stock any more and finding her has been difficult -- until this afternoon when I was looking for the Oriental Beauty.

The DG piece is called Enchanting Geisha, and she is quite enchanting.  I of course ordered her right away so I can have the pair I originally intended. I don't know why Dimensions decided to stop making that kit because they still have patterns I've seen everywhere for years, even decades (at least 2 decades). It doesn't make sense to me. There are dozens of lovely geishas everywhere and I managed to snag Kihaku after much waffling and counting pennies. I haven't started her either since there were projects that needed to be done first, like my grandchildren's Xmas stockings.

I've even decided, and chosen the patterns for, 2 more Xmas stockings. These are for my estranged sons boys, Aidan and Ian. I'll send them to my ex-husband and let he and his wife decide whether or not to tell the boys and their father where they came from. The decision has more to do with what I want and how I feel than with whatever problem it may cause my ex and his wife or my son. I don't need the credit, but I do need to do this for my own peace of mind. I hate leaving the boys out when I made stockings for all the other grandchildren even if they don't know who I am. I'm strange that way.

Besides, I like making the stockings. Maybe I should make stockings and sell them to whomever wants them for themselves or their children. Considering all the work and time I put into them, the stockings would not be cheap, and I should recoup my expenses and time. After all, the stockings are heirlooms and will last for decades. Shouldn't the price be commensurate with that? Artisans in every field expect to be paid for their expertise and time and materials.

I don't like pink, but Kihaku isn't something I'm going to wear, so pink isn't a problem. I was struck by the soft colors and pose of the graceful geisha and counted enough pennies to buy her a couple of years ago. I've decided that the Jack bedroom will feature geishas and other Asian entertainers (entertainer is what geisha means) and the Jill bedroom will feature fairy tales and the kinds of pieces that children would love. I hope my granddaughters will spend their summers and at least a Xmas or two in the Jill bedroom, unless I can coax their mother into moving up here with the girls and bringing their furniture, clothes, and things. I think this would be a lovely place for the girls to grow up and Megan can help me around the house. I'll cook and she can clean. We'll work it out somehow.

The girls can also help me plant and nurture a garden or two and figure out what to do with the hangar size garage and the 2 outbuildings that house nothing but spiders and possibilities.

Well this post turned out to be much longer than I intended. Maybe it's time for me to get back into the swing of things and begin posting more regularly.

In other news, just while I'm here and typing, I actually like my new job. I've already soared past the pittance of a rate that BTS paid me for 3 years and I also have 3 accounts so I won't be without work all the time while the doctors goof off and wait to inundate us with dictations they should have done all along. I've gone 3 cents a line and it's only the 4th week. Not too shabby. There's no one hounding me all the time to switch programs and do a stat report and I spend less time looking at the clock and more time typing, which also adds considerably to my bank account. It is also a change being paid every other week instead of the 4th and 20th, as long as they don't fall on the weekend or a holiday or the payroll department doesn't screw up and forget to get the payroll processing done on time and then prevaricating about why we aren't being paid on time. I just love when that happens. Don't you? /snark

Well, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I could go on much longer, but I will stop here. I want to get some stitching done and maybe even take photos of the other pieces I'm working on. One word of advice. Just because a cross stitch project is 5 x 7 inches finished does not mean it will be done any quicker than one that is 24 x 24 or even 24 x 36. I learned that one the hard way. Smaller means more work and much frustration, even if it is worth it.

That is all.  Disperse.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The WiFi That Wasn't

I lost 2 days of work last week because of the wonky WiFi cutting in and out, taking forever to stream a video (talk about broken cataracts of streaming), and losing packets. I called Skybeam to complain and see if there was an area-wide outage only to find out the antenna was working fine and my router, now 7-1/2 months old, would have to be replaced. They offered me a fix. Send a tech out on Monday to realign the antenna and installed a Skybeam router for $6.99 a month ($83.88 a year) added to my bill, which would ensure me that my service would always be up.

Monday dawned bright and clear after my car accident of the afternoon before and I waited and wiated and waited and waited until well into the afternoon when it would be past the time for a service call. To my surprise while I waited, the broadband signal was strong and the videos were actually streaming. Music downloaded at a proper pace and web pages did not take forever and a half day to show up on my computer. I could enjoy the net in peace. My peace was to be short-lived as I soon found out the truth behind the wonky web and WiFi buffeting over the cataracts of the stream.

I didn't need a new router. The Linksys I bought in July 2014 was perfectly fine. The antenna did not need to be aligned, showing up on the tech's small Asus computer as 12 x 12. That as true as it gets in the radio business; 12 vertical and 12 horizontal. That is true. He would be happy to install the router he brought with him, and which came with a hefty yearly rental cost, but it would not solve the problem. I had put my trust in Linksys which is the workhorse of routers, and indeed of electronic equipment, as I had believed prior to Saturday's call to Tech Support at Skybeam. The problem wasn't what I had been told. The real problem was the tower.

Skybeam does a lot of business, but their equipment is outdated and overloaded. The equipment providing my signal is brand new, top of the line, and the latest word in WiFi technology. It is supposed to service 60 households and therein lay the problem. It was servicing 90 households, exceeding the bandwidth and slowing down when all 90 households were using the WiFi broadband at the same time. Think of 90 mice and their families clamoring to get through a hole made for 60 mice and children at the same time. The hole gets filled up and only a mouse or two will be able to squeeze through to the warehouse of cheese on the other side.

I chose not to add the router rental to my bill and will be forced to wait while Skybeam takes down the older tech on the tower and moves 30 customers off my node on the tower so the 20 Mbps I have been paying for will finally stream over smooth broadband waves.

Since the problem is a fairly recent one, I can be assured the addition of the 30 extra customers on a filled node happened quite recently -- about the time my stream began rushing headlong over the cataracts like Bogey and Hepburn in The African Queen. Bogey and Hepburn were separated, but eventually found one another, just as I have been separated from my smooth WiFi stream and fast download times. Since Skybeam is the only line of sight service in the area, I'm stuck, but not for long. Since I won't be writing a negative review for my Linksys router, I will in exchange bombard Skybeam with negative reviews and spread the word that they need to get the tech on the towers updated and the rocks and white water out of my broadband stream.

In the meantime, I'm keeping relaxed the best way I know how . . . by cross stitching and reading. I've been switched back and forth between one of Lanarte's Cultures Collection pieces (all of which are stunning), Dimensions Gold 5 x 7 geisha, another Lanarte -- Arabian Woman 5 x 7), and Joadoor's Swan, taking breaks by reading Isaak Walton's The Compleat Angler and various and sundry other books (some on Kindle and some, like Walton's, in hardback form with a ribbon bookmark included.

I can't show you the books, but I did snap a photo of the Eastern Beauty from Lanarte, which is nearly done. I am quite pleased with the progress and can't wait to get her matted, framed, and hung on the wall. So what if most of my cross stitch pieces are of the female variety? Joadoor's Swan could be a male. Show me a male who looks as beautiful, intriguing, and stitchable and I shall stitch him and add him to the collection.  As much as I like male bodybuilders, I am looking more for grace and style than muscles. Give me a male dancer in a high jete or, as in a couple of patterns I own, silhouettes of dancers doing the tango or jazz, and I'll add them to the list. Most of the time, I stitch what appeals to me and the mystery and mystique of women all over the world and across the ages appeal most to me, like the lady below.

Arab beauty

That is all. Disperse.