It died and then we lived again.

I did it! I did go back to Minnesota and it was a wonderful trip. We were gone 3 weeks and many good things happened and there is much to tell. But that will come later.

Mostly, one of the reasons I hadn’t updated things and shared pictures and told you banal stories (I often use the word banal instead of inane because I worry that people will think I just misspelled insane and am being lame. You can trust that most of the time, when I use banal, I probably also mean inane) is that we had a spate of computer deaths, one after another. Our desktop pc had died in the spring. It wasn’t any sort of emergency or anything, mostly we used it for playing games. It was dead so I couldn’t play Sims 3 which is a minor emergency, but easily triaged to the waiting room.

I had 2 secondhand Mac Books that had been hobbling along, screen cables and keyboards slowly malfunctioning. One died right before the trip and the other died upon our return. The second one had a lovely and dramatic hard disk death and just as that was happening, just as I started swearing about the hard drive not being recognized I spilled coffee into the keyboard. More swearing. Lots of swearing. But it didn’t really matter. The keyboard was malfunctioning anyway, I’d had to connect a keyboard to be able to type certain letters and symbols and the hard drive was most assuredly dead before the coffee spill.

This left us with David’s little netbook (which is cute and good and small and portable). Since I could not waste my days reloading npr and tut-tutting about the news I managed to get a ton of reading and cooking and crocheting done. Five quarts of chicken stock pressure canned, 7 or 8 pints of salsa verde canned, 2 pints of pickled jalapenos, I wound my way through much of the Discworld series, I recalculated and restarted a purse pattern I made, went to the library, kept the kitchen clean, drank a lot of beer. Good stuff.

But, all unintentional productivity must come to an end and we got a new computer.

I have owned only Macs since 1995, since I started working at MCAD in 2000 I used only Macs at work with a few pc side projects. I love Macs, they are easy to use and nifty and awesome and I don’t think I will ever buy another one. I love the Macs but we got a pc.

When we sort of mapped out what we needed the new laptop to do we found that there was just no way in hell we were going to be able to justify buying a Mac with our budget. Not at all. So, do you whittle away your expectations and get a weaker computer or do you look elsewhere and find what you need? I have other issues with Apple, like the fact their products are less and less user serviceable, you can’t get into them to upgrade or make repairs. You have to bring them in and repairs are expensive as hell and there’s always the ‘you should probably just upgrade’ culture. I’m just not doing it anymore. No more Apple stuff.

Instead we got a Lenovo IdeaPad. Windows sucks, Windows 8 moreso, but I’m willing to slog through it to have a computer that is awesome enough to allow me to play Sims 3 with all the settings on high! Seriously, this damned thing has 2 graphics card-something-or-other and a butt of RAM and a terabyte hard drive and in 5 or 6 years it will be obsolete and need to be replaced but it was a 3rd of the price of a similarly powered Mac laptop. There are FOUR separate control panels relating to the mouse and track pad. Four. That is a giant waste of resources and incredibly inelegant, but I don’t care. The track pad is going to take a lot of getting used to, but I don’t care. I know all of butt about Windows and I have a hell of a time navigating and Windows 8 is truly perplexing, but I don’t care. All of these things can be learned and dealt with and I can spend my time with these guys…

The Haube Boys

A hot dog and his child stand in the rain outside the diner

Caged Wombat

Splashback Falls

Milqeshake Ford

I am a 40 year old woman and this is what I like to do in my spare time and finally, I have a reasonably priced computer that allows me to do it to the extreme!

More of my Sims 3 photos can be found on Flickr. And if you play you can download them from my studio.

Other marginally more interesting stuff will be posted soon, now that I can post again.

Pocket Djomm

I want to program a key stroke that will insert the text:

Holy crap! It’s been a long time! Sorry, I’ve been doing…

Because, seriously, it’s stupid for me to keep typing that. Also, it is stupider to think it matters that I acknowledge my lameness.
We sat a farm. Actually, we did farmsitting but my ability to construct this concept into a grammatically acceptable sentence eludes me. We did the sitting of a farm.
Kristin went out of town for the weekend and we were charged with keeping 7 sheep, 6 goats, 2 cows, a llama, a farm dog and 2 cats alive and healthy and we met with success!
It was easier than I expected it to be. I read a LOT of Jame Harriot as a kid and everything I know about farms and livestock comes from that. What I know for sure is that if the weather gets really bad forces will conspire against you so that you have no choice but to be elbow deep in a sheep’s vagina at 2am. I’ve been learning a lot lately and I think the single most important lesson I have learned so far is: insert arm slowly and carefully to avoid rupturing the vagina.
I might get that tattooed on my arm so that I never forget.
Over the course of that weekend we ate pork shoulder, pork cops, bacon and sausage from the pig that so graciously gave his life so that we might get fat on it. It was pretty damned delicious (except I overcooked the pork chops).
Pork chops from the pig we helped slaughter
Chester and the cats did NOT get along. I’m not surprised about this, he doesn’t get along with most animals. BUT! Introduce a common enemy and BOOM!! He and the cats are a horribly coordinated and pretty useless team! A little red squirrel had managed to find a way into the house and would come out on regular foraging trips. The cats are still pretty young and the squirrel was too big for them to handle, they knew that. OH! But that squirrel wasn’t too big for Chester! Perfect size for Chester and with the cats and Chester on the case you’d think something would have been accomplished. You’d think that. Mostly, it was a slapstick comedy routine best suited for Perfect Strangers.
Flanagan, the resident leviathan of a dog did not care one bit about any of it and couldn’t even be bothered to lift his head or turn his ears during the chaos.
Flanagan and Maddie share a couch
The house was heated on a wood stove and mostly we had it running well, not wasting wood or anything. I will tell you, however, that by the time morning comes around and the stove has burned down, the chill of the tile floor in the bathroom is so cold your pee will force its way up into your lungs and you will die of hypothermia and pee drowning. So cold, so very very cold.
David did most of the hard work, hauling water from the house to the barn (the well pump thingy was frozen), fighting off the belligerent be-testicled sheep, busting ice out of water troughs and generally being very good at the things that needed to be done. I spent my time making oatmeal, slipping and falling on the ice, drinking beer and hugging the livestock.
Lorelei loves hugs
This was a real confidence booster for me. It’s different from anything I’ve done before but mostly it makes sense to me and with guidance I know it is a thing we can do. And I couldn’t be happier to do it with anyone but David.
He's the rugged, outdoorsy type
More pics here.

Holy crap! Time is flying faster than a monkey with a Milton Berle figurine up its own butt!!

We’re moving! We’re doing it!
This is where I would moan on and on about how much I hate packing and moving. I’ve already done that and you know that. So, please, take a minute to close your eyes and imagine how much I don’t like it. Now imagine it again!..
David and the chickens
It’s going to be so much work but it will definitely be worth it.
The thing is, we’ve got a large, sort of nebulous goal and we’ve got a big, indistinct sort of map. We’re going to be trying a lot of new stuff and we’re going to have problems and make mistakes and screw shit up and stand up and try again.
Your smirks? I can see them. You’re not good at hiding them.
But, it doesn’t matter. David and I are a really good team and we’re excited! Except about the actual packing… we’re not excited about that. But you already know that.
The hardest thing of all? Leaving my sweet little niece! Every time I see her she is less of a lump and more of a person. I’m going to miss all those little changes.
How do I say goodbye to this?



Executive Viivi

Speaking of the moving and the goodbyes!! We’ve got 2 goodbye functions planned. If you haven’t seen them on Facebook and you want to join us please email, or ravelry message or facebook message or write your request on a 9×13 pan of brownies and get them to me and I will give you the details. We’ve got a bbq and pancakes!
New hair, new sunglasses

Well, if you’re not and she isn’t then…?

Ladies, take a moment to think about your childhood and think about how other women characterize their own childhood.

I was a tomboy

I wasn’t girly

I did boy things

Almost all of my friends were boys

I never played with Barbies

I DID play with Barbie but I cut her hair and made her do boy things
What is this? Why is this?
Is being a girl a shitty thing to be? Do girls need to be told that they should strive harder to be like boys because girly things are what, exactly? Stupid? Fake? Worthless? Embarrassing? That the whole point of equality is to get away from GIRL and go be like BOY?
Of course there is the semantics part of this whole thing (because semantics is FUN). If ALL the girls are being like boys and doing only boy things wouldn’t is stand to reason that these activities are not BOY things but KID things? We moved a lot when I was a kid, but mostly groups of kids were mostly mixed but sometimes we would group up, girls and boys and go do different things. Also, someone’s mom yelled at me because I told her son that I hated his guts.
As a side question: where the hell did everyone grow up that there were always the ‘streams’ that the kids would go play in and catch tadpoles and get muddy and… whatever… whatever… the creek? We had a creek and pond nearby but it was so polluted, we never went in there. It’s always the stream and the tadpoles and learning and just like boys.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Why do we do this? Why do we find so much shame in pink? Is playing princess so much worse than playing war? What are today’s little girls hearing from us? That the only way to learn and explore is not with a dress but jeans? That there are no learning opportunities, no real fun, no real way to be a person until they put away the tiara and pull out the baseball hat? Why would you tell someone that?