books

Moving.... Again.

Hey! Look at that. We're packing. Again. headpalm

Yeah, we decided to pass on purchasing the delete...delete...delete house we're renting. We've begun a full-out search for a house to purchase, but the one we are planning on making an offer on is a short-sale. In the local market at least, that means 4-6 months to see if our offer is accepted and get to closing. sigh

So, we're moving to an apartment for the time being. That's cool. Two pools -- one heated in the winter -- no landscape hassles OR pool maintenance, less rent (!)... these are all good things. Right?

Then there's the other side of the coin. We're moving from about 2400 square feet to a "whopping" 1133 square feet. Oh dear gods, how are we going to manage that? I (we, really) have a plan.

First, we secured a climate-controlled storage unit yesterday. 10x15x10. The washer, dryer and fridge are going in there -- that's not even a question! All of Randy's tools will likely go in there as well. At least 5 of the tall Billy Bookcases (4 have glass doors) are going in there. We're putting most (if not all) of our remaining hardback and non-fiction books in storage. The extra dining table is going into storage. My (beautiful) 120 gallon aquarium and stand and Nick's 45 gallon acrylic aquarium and wood stand are both going to storage. I think Rowan has a 15 gallon set-up for a reptile that he's going to store as well. When we're farther along in the packing, I'm going to have Randy disassemble my desk and come up with a smaller configuration for both of our desks for the new place. Rowan is planning on putting his desk in his room, which will help a lot.

The plan is still "in progress" -- so many things haven't been considered yet. But the one thing I've made sure of is that ALL my yarn, and Simon (my spinning wheel) will be going to the apartment. I think my 3 sewing machines will be going to storage -- since it's climate controlled, that makes that decision easy.

I plan to go through my fiction hardbacks today to look for any that can either (a) go to Bookman's for trade-in credit or (b) that I want to keep out so I can read them finally. Then I'll look through the metric tonne of mass market paperbacks for books which we don't want to trade in, but could possibly go to storage. The plan here is to keep one of the Billy bookcases (one without doors) out and put all the books on them. I may try to change that and have us install the shelves over the desks or something like that, since the square footage is going to be tight.

In the midst of this packing madness, I'm still working on the Lattice Lace shawl I want to wear at Marcey's wedding in August.

I'm still hoping to create a pair of stockings to wear with the gown -- but that's moving more and more into the realm of "wish", instead of "reality". If I had a pattern that worked with laceweight yarn for a sock (!), giving me good stitch counts to work from, I'd feel more confident that I could pull it off. As it is, I'll cast these on after the next project I have planned.

And that project... is another Baby Bobbi Bear for someone special. This one is going to be very unique as I'm planning a "patchwork" kind of bear. She reads here, so I don't want to ruin all my surprises. I promise to reveal the final product, once this bear's new owner has it.

So, can I pack this place in 3 weeks and still finish the Lattice Lace Shawl before July 1st? Can I fit all of us and an abbreviated list of our belongings into 1133 square feet? Can I abbreviate my belongings?

Stay tuned to this same knit channel, this same knit time, to find out!

Secular Cathedral

I wanted to post about this yesterday, but I needed time to formulate my thoughts and come down from the rafters of frustration. So you're up-to-date, you might want to pop over and read this article.

...waiting...

You back? Good. Are ya pissed yet? Let's talk about this.

I've got around 2000 books in my house, according to my LibraryThing. That does not include an up-to-date cataloging of all the magazines in my house. But, I feel it is safe to say that we are all bibliophiles here. True, we've been selling off our hardback collection and replacing it with the same books in "mass market" (paperback) editions. Lighter, smaller, cheaper. But they *are* still books.

Now, those who know me, know I love technology. I've got two computers (soon to be 3, I hope!), not counting the server which has all our music on it and will someday have all our movies there as well. I start showing signs of DTs if I'm not able to check my email several times a day. We've got surround-sound stereo in our living room, with all our computers, so we can get our geek on and watch a movie.

But when it comes to books, I want paper and ink. I want the feel of a book in my hands. I want the smell of a book. I want to stand in front of my shelves and browse, deciding what to read next. With all our advances in online-shopping, there's still no replacement for "browsing".

When I was little, there was no money for "trivialities" like books. If I wanted books, that meant a trip to the public library. At the time, that was the Stark County District Library. I measure my later childhood years by the shelves of that library. (Of course, returning years later after they reorganized the shelves was rather disconcerting!) Many summer afternoons were spent in that library (soaking up the A/C we didn't have at home!). How many times have I read a book because the title caught my eye while looking at those shelves? How many books did I read because of the monthly displays, celebrating some element of fiction, some breakthrough in science, some person of importance?

My concern over Cushing's choice isn't because I have a child there. My concern is that other schools will jump on this bandwagon before the concept has been proven to succeed---or fail. Why couldn't Cushing choose to keep the paper-and-ink books while testing out the newer technology? Why couldn't they wait a semester or two and see if the teachers and the students (and their parents) approve, before even considering divesting themselves of the real books?

I've shared at home my requirements for an e-book reader: paperback in size, opening like a paperback does. Little cards (like my Nintendo DS uses) hold the books. When not in use, the little cards have little "books" they sit in, on my shelves---taking up even less space than my paperbacks do! There's no need to store credit card data in my device. No need for GPS and wireless capability. Most importantly, there's no risk of losing my entire library when I drop the reader in the tub, while soaking with a good book! I want an Open Source format for the books. I will not support the publishing industry becoming more like the recording industry. Much like my library at home, many of my family members can be reading books from our home collection at the same time---without having to buy multiple copies (which I would have to do right now, with a Kindle or similar readers).

As a crafter, I rely on high-quality color pictures and graphs with detailed information in them to put patterns together. Someday, I hope to have my crochet skills up to par enough to take on Blueprint Crochet (already on my shelves!). [For a sample of what this book looks like inside, there's a preview on ScribD.] Not only does this book have stunning pictures, but blueprints -- in color. And based on one review, there's no point in clicking on the "I'd like to read this book on the Kindle" link because the readers can't handle this kind of book.

I take comfort in my personal book collection, now more than ever. If paper-and-ink libraries could possibly become a thing of the past, at least I'll have shelves of them for my family and friends to reminisce over.

Spring is done. Finally

I finished the Spring Mystery Shawl (finally!) very (very!) early Monday morning. I ordered my wire blocking kit on Tuesday, so it'll be a while before pictures will go up showing this one.

That leaves me with the Anniversary Mystery Shawl (a pi-shawl), which is the one I've ripped out a bajillion times already. I'm slowly working my way through Clue 2 and hope to be on to Clue 3 this evening. (Yes, for the very observant, it's 4:15 in the morning and I'm up, writing a blog entry....)

I've got a doctor's appointment at the very ungodly hour of 7:30am and I've pretty much given up getting any sleep before the appointment. So, I figure, I'll come home and crash afterward.

I'm expecting yarn to arrive tomorrow for two upcoming shawl projects: one is Mom's shawl. The other, is Goddess Knit's Dracula's Bride, which I purchased some time ago but finally got around to ordering the custom colorway I had in mind. I've got some concerns that the circles as I've charted them in Mom's shawl might go a little more oval-ish than I want, so I'll probably start with that one next.

There's another Mystery KAL starting Saturday--a Faroese shawl--but my yarn is delayed (through no fault of my dyer), so I'll start that one behind schedule.

I think I've missed a month or two of my reading lists for this year.... *sigh* I'll have to root around and see what I've been reading. As far as audiobooks go, I've devoured the first four books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. That is truly outstanding listening. In fact, I would recommend listening over reading, to truly capture the places best. Davina Porter narrates the ones I bought from Audible (are there any other narrators out there doing Outlander?) and she does an amazing job.

In contrast, I had to stop listening to "The Immortals" by Tracy Hickman precisely because of the narration. The narrator? The author himself. And it's not "narration" but a sort of embellished presentation, with some sound effects added in---very very annoying. If I wanted to listen to a radio play, I would. I wish I could get my credit back on that book.

Oh, I got to get my geek on last week. We've got one of the Mac Powerbooks (codenamed Pismo), which was the last Mac I used regularly. Long ago (back in 2005?) one of the cats no longer residing with us (I'll leave it to you to decide why) managed to knock it to the (then concrete) floor---totally killing the screen. Randy was given another Mac Powerbook and we planned to swap the hard drives so I could get to my old genealogy files and do a GEDCOM dump. Only, it turns out, the free computer isn't another Pismo, but a Lombard.

When swapping the hard drives didn't work, I thought, well, maybe I can swap the monitors. Nope. Now I have the Pismo back together, minus it's "head". I think that'll be our new Halloween scary story: The Headless Pismo! I am debating bidding on the head over at ebay.

Since I just dropped *mumble-mumble* dollars on the Interweave Press Hurt Book Sale plus the blocking wires and some more books at KnitPicks during their 40% off books sale....I'd probably better wait.

Still, check out the titles I'm scoring in these two orders:

Not bad, I say! I can't wait 'til they get here! Oh! Plus!!! I just ordered several cones of Peaches n' Creme! ::rubs hands in glee:: Fun!

Oh, hey...look at the time. I've got to get up in an hour. Like I said earlier....I'll sleep after the appointment. Zzzzzzzzzz

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