Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome 2008 graduates of Sith University and families.

As I ready to don my ceremonial cloak and hood, I look back on the past months with fond memory. All the happy hours of knitting as miles of dark yarn passed through my fingers. The promise of each pucker and ruffle, like the darkness of space itself, the darkness of the force, and always waiting for fate to unfold; waiting to spread my dark wings and fly. Waiting for today. All that is left is to cross the stage, receive my diploma, and (lest I seem ungrateful for all my training) assasinate the emperor as I exit, leaving a vacancy I am ready to fill. Yes, it was tough at the end, but it always is, and you learn that is has to be that way. Now all adversity has been overcome, and I wait, triumphant, for the final strains of pomp and circumstance (still a classic) to die away, and for my future to begin.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

First you must grasp your hamster firmly...

Yes, hamster adventures continue. Knitting does not, at least for now while work is crazy and the Khan requires special treatment.

I'll go back a bit. The other day, while showing off the Horde to a friend, I noticed one of the hamsters' butts looked weird.

OK, I'll go back a bit more. Now, being the responsible new hamster owner, the day after the Horde showed up I went out and bought what seemed to be a pretty good resource on hamster care and started reading up on basic care and what to look out for. So I knew that as long as everyone was chipper and fluffy and were eating, drinking and pooping ok, things would be alright. I also knew that the robo hamsters could be kept together, although they like to pair, and we briefly wondered if a fifth unpaired hamster would be a problem, and, if so, how would we know who was paired and who was not. And I learned that they were pretty darned hardy but could catch colds from humans if exposed. But loose poops can be a problem, and a wet tail can herald a possible fatal infection. Check.

So I've been engaging in a daily health check which is easy to do when I let them run around in their balls, because they're all separate and easy to handle and view without having to try to catch any of them (which I can't - they're just too fast). So I'm checking out the hamster butt a couple of days ago (yeah, that sounds weird) and sure enough, we have one with a dark patch where nice clean fur should be.

Is it wet? Is it time to panic? I mean, I had just seen "I Am Legend" the night before, and I could have a transformed hamster here who will shortly begin killing and possibly eating the cats! I mean, they're nocturnal already, and this one's going hairless, and ... Or maybe we have the first signs of a potentially fatal hamster disease here that I didn't even know existed 2 weeks ago. But it wasn't wet, just hairless and raw. Otherwise the hamster was completely normal. I decided to give it a day. It was late Saturday night, what could I have done anyway?

Sunday, the patch was bigger, and now it was looking rashy, as was the left hind foot. Hamster otherwise still completely normal, perky dining on seeds, no cat carcasses strewn around the cage. The plan: get a vet on Monday.

Did you know hamsters are considered exotic? I sure as hell didn't. Maybe a Hawaiian hamster that does the hula would fit my description of exotic, but hamsters are as American as moms' apple pie, so it was strange to have so much trouble finding someone who would see him. Finally I asked the Banfield people at Petsmart if they would see him. I mean, they sell the little guys (although mine came from elsewhere), so you'd think they would have a special rodent doc there or something, but they don't. However, the vet there did say that although she wasn't an exotics specialist, she'd see him and do what she could. Could we bring him in later in the afternoon and what was his name?


I really had no contingency plan for ever getting to be able to tell them apart to the point that would warrant individual names, so I don't know where it came from, but without missing a beat I answered "Genghis". And proceeded to spell it out for them.

Turns out we have identified the odd hamster out here. He, being unpaired, was getting chewed on a bit, and has a secondary bacterial infection from the bites. He got an antiseptic bath at the vets' (who were awesome) and is currently in his own habitat (for everyones' safety) and is living like, well, a Khan. We have to catch and hold him to give him his cherry flavored drop of medicine, then he returns to his posh digs. Now, the odd hamster out theory is mine, and it could be a crowding issue as well, so when he gets a clean bill of health we are going to get him a friend and eventually join the two habitats via tunnels so there's tons of room for everyone, and everyone has a buddy.

Do you have any idea how cute this has all been? OMG!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thank Bob That's Done!

Well, I have finished the right half of the edge pattern and started on the left side. Pat will be pleased to know that the left side is far easier than the right. Maybe it's just being so thankful not to have to p2togtbl anymore, I don't know. But I got 5 repeats done in the time it would take me to do 2 of the right side repeats and I actually enjoyed it!

Now I've learned my lesson about saying cocky stuff like giving dates as to when I'll have it done, but I'm hoping to be able to wear it soon. It really shouldn't take much longer. Wow, I should paint that window.

In other news, the Horde are ridiculously adorable. We got them the little clear balls to run around in while I cleaned their cage, and I'm going to have to get some video of that and put it up here for you. It's freakin hysterical. And with my new camera, I can actually get short videos. For now, I'm proud that I can get any pictures out of it. It's way more high tech than my old camera. I sat down with the manuals yesterday and learned how to focus. Sad, that I'm actually all excited about that, isn't it? And it has digital macro. For the hamsters. The tiny fast hamsters.

The cats are getting jealous, but they'll have to wait their turn. I don't know what's funnier, 5 tiny critters rolling around in 5 balls or the view when you leave the room of 9 mesmerized cats staring at the door to the knitting room, just listening to the rolling sounds.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 South of I-20

I can sum up my entire New Years experience with one word.


Yes, it was difficult not to feel that I had been magically transported to Baghdad last night. The husband and I stayed home for a relaxing evening and ended up hunkered down, away from any windows, listening to every fool with a semi automatic waste ammunition. It is a miracle no one was hurt.

Every year we have a few yahoos who think the best way to celebrate is by going out on their back porch and unloading their home protection system into the sky. Like bullets never come down or something. Last night we could only identify two, yes, two incidences of actual fireworks. All the rest were guns.

I am not anti-gun. I think people who own guns and aren't responsible with them should have their guns taken away, however. And below I-20 here, that would be every idiot who was out last night. Massive amounts of gunfire is never a soothing sound, nor is it a particularly celebratory sound. Unless you are in some 9th world country celebrating a coup. And my lack of appreciation for it is one of the many reasons why I don't live in a 9th world country. I live in a major metropolitan area in a 1st world nation. Yes, you have a big gun. Go get some bloody fireworks now. Thanks.

Drunken people shooting guns into the air in the dark aside, progress continues on Irtfa'a. I have just finished the purling hell right side of the edge pattern, and I am taking a breath before starting the knit friendly left side. Pictures to follow soon, if my new camera didn't get hit by a stray bullet.

And to think that part of the reason we stayed home was because we didn't feel like braving the roads on New Years Eve.