Thursday, August 30, 2012

Helpful Re-Defining of On-Line Abbreviations

Even some of the least technical folks know most of the common abbreviations, LOL for example.  But how many of you really mean it when you use these texting terms?  Really?  Today, I let folks know what they really mean.

How To Read On-Line Text When Something is Humorous
Other than when smoking pot, have you ever really seen someone rolling on the floor laughing their ass off?  Yeah, me neither.  So here's what texters really mean when they use these shorthands:

ShorthandSupposed to MeanReally Means
:)SmilingStupid, but didn't want to be rude and say so
LOLLaughing Out LoudGrinning, found it kind of humorous
ROFLRolling On the Floor LaughingChuckling a was funny
ROFLMAORolling On the Floor Laughing My Ass OffLaughing out loud...funny
CTFUCracking the Fuck UpLaughing Out Loud...I might have been wasted when I read it

Current Knitting
I only brought the sock with me this week to work, so I got a bit more done on the final cuff.

Thaddeus liked these socks, but like most of my hand-knit socks, doesn't like that the cuffs stretch out more than the $2 Walmart specials.  I kind of understand this complaint.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Men's Fiber Escape

After the success and growth of the Men's Knitting Retreats, one of the regular attendees suggested trying something a bit less formal, perhaps shorter to bring male knitters together - a Men's Fiber Escape.

Basic Concepts
John's first idea was to designate a weekend in Provincetown, put together a list of lodging places in close proximity and perhaps organize one event to bring together all the a cocktail party or a simple gathering place.  But basically the idea is to let everyone do their own thing throughout the weekend.  I loved the idea and now a few folks are considering putting together somewhat less formal "escapes."

The Provincetown weekend didn't end up happening but two other events are possibly in the works, one in Montreal and another in the Poconos in PA.

I'll keep you updated on any opportunities for knitter-guys to get together.

Current Knitting
It's been a while since I've blogged, but knitting has been somewhat slow in the week since my last post.

I have, however, managed to make some headway on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Sock for people that fucking hate Pink.

I had forgotten how I turned the heel on the first sock, so the heel is a bit different on the second sock...but I figured "Who cares...the heel is hidden inside a shoe and even when it's not, who the hell looks that closely at a non-pink sock?"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Going Places

Have you ever had the opportunity to see a performance, and saw someone so amazingly talented that you knew they would be going places?

On His Way Up
Tom Goss is one of those performers.

He certainly has the talent, but he also has the energy and enthusiasm, the love of his art and the social skills to pull it all off.

Tom is an ardent supporter of LGBT issues, and it's obvious in his song writing and joy performing before audiences of "his people."  Here's a video of Tom performing one of my favorite love songs really gives you a ssense of his personality.

If you're in Ohio, Baltimore or Washington DC areas, you should make it a priority to go see this guy perform...he's quite amazing and it won't be long before you won't be able to see him in a close up venue. Check
out his schedule here.

Currrent Knitting
I was able to finish one of the toe-up socks I was knitting, and even managed to start the second one.

Here's a close up of the cuff stitch pattern.

Loving how this is turning out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Delightful Art and Craft

Having the good fortune to be able to meander around Lambertville on weekends, I also get the opportunity to see any new and interesting shops that open up.  This past weekend, I found a great source of interesting gift/home items, but also a store owner who knits some of her own merchandise!

Rheda Incorporated
This new store on Church Street in Lambertville has merchandise that is clearly selected by someone with a fine eye for color and design.  There were some amazing paintings, fascinating little objets, beautiful ceramics from local artists and even these great little knitted pets.

I have to admit, I'm always envious when I see someone who is able to put together such ordinary colors in such an extraordinarily appealing way.

Current Knitting
A total of 8 rows on the Milano blanket and 16 rows on the cuff of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Socks for People That Fucking Hate Pink (SGKRFTCSFPTFHP).

I'll let readers validate that my incremental row counts are correct!

Readers' Comments/Questions
With regard to hits from other countries, Linda Shields asks, "What about Kuwait?"

I should have mentioned that my statistics software only lists the top ten countries (in terms of number of hits).  You'll have to go to the site multiple times during the day and encourage all your friends and family in Kuwait to do the same!

Friday, August 10, 2012

QueerJoe Blog Trivia

Every once in a while I take a look at my detailed blog statistics (I always look at my weekly number of blog hits, because I'm a hit-whore...but sometimes I look at the details).  I found some things I thought folks might find interesting.

For as long as I've been tracking blog traffic, here are the international sources of hits to the blog over the years:

  It's also kind of fun to see what kind of Search Engine terms viewers have used to get to QueerJoe.  Here's a list of some of my favorites:

Seriously?  Six hits from "pet skunks"?  I imagine it must come from this post about some roving I own, but honestly, I don't see this listed in the 20 first pages of a "pet skunks" search. I guess I should be glad that "dirty underwear" is off the list of search terms.

Finally, here are the most common sites (other than Google or my own URL's that refer people to my blog:

Jean Miles shows up twice with the highest number of referrals (thanks Jean!) followed by the ever-handsome Asplundknits.  Then a large number of hits from Megan's interesting blog based on my Earflap Hat she linked to back in December of 2009.  Clearly Franklin doesn't mention me anywhere near enough on his blog, otherwise my hits from him would clearly be through the roof!

Current Knitting
Nothing to show since the last blog post, but I have been doing a bit of knitting on both the Tosh sock and the Milano blanket.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

More Change!

For  over 2 decades, I've had my checking and savings account at the same bank...or should I say the same bank building.  In total, my accounts have been at four separate banks in those 20 or so years.  I decided it was time to change my accounts over to a local bank (who have NO plans to sell, merge, acquire, etc.).

Worth Doing
It was a pain changing banks from one of those huge, to-big-to-fail national banks (which is the latest iteration of the bank where my money used to reside), to a local bank, owned and run by local banking professionals, but in my estimation, it is still worth doing.

In fact, I would highly recommend that everyone consider doing it.

The switchover required a number of changes:

  • Changing direct-deposit accounts with both mine and Thaddeus' work
  • Switching over direct-debit billing for a couple of accounts
  • Changing my PayPal direct access
  • Changing the account for my reitrement investments to interface with the new account
  • Learn a new on-line bill-paying system
It was also a bit more expensive in some ways to have my bank be local instead of huge...
  • I had to maintain a higher minimum balance to get free accounts with on-line bill-paying (honestly, for me, this had no impact, but it might have impacted some)
  • My checking account is no longer interest-bearing (VERY little loss on this one)
  • No nationwide availability of ATM machines, so I may have to pay fees more often to take out cash whilst traveling
And despite all this change, I still think it was a good idea.  In my own small way, I feel as though I'm telling the BoA's and Wells Fargos that their policies suck, and they need to advocate for more regulation of the banking industry.

I know I'm slow to the punch on this issue...most of the folks that were fed up with the free-wheeling national banks have already moved their money to local banks.  But I'm still quite glad I was able to do my part.

Current Knitting
Completed a bit more on the Milano blanket.

And also got a bit more done on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Socks for Women Who Fucking HATE Pink.

A bit here, a bit there and soon I'll have a pair of awesome socks and an even more awesome bed blanket.

Perseverance pays

Readers' Comments/Questions
Barb Brown writes, "I do like the colours in that blanket. Speaking of blankets..... did you ever finish the 'coffin cover'????"

Nope...still sitting in a project bag downstairs.  I'm sure that baby will keep my corpse nice and warm!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Change Can Be Good

Living with Thaddeus (the Luddite), we are required to have a land line for our phone service.  Trying to convince him to get rid of the land line and use just a cell phone was a fruitless argument.

Options and Results
He does have a cell's a go-phone that he pays $100 a year...for $100 he gets WAY more minutes than he will ever need.  In fact, he just completed the annual renewal this month and he has almost twice the number of minutes he started with since he could carry over all his unused minutes (less than 50 minutes of cell phone in a year!)  And honestly, we don't use our home phone very much at all.  Since we had to pay for both the local phone line and a monthly rate for long-distance capabilities...we were paying about $50 a month for our land line.

His concerns:

  • Didn't want to lose his home phone number
  • Didn't want to have to carry a cell phone with him all over the house (we currently have a total of six extensions all around the house)
  • Preferred the simplicity of a land line
Options we consider were:
  1. Replace the land line with a cell phone and get a blue tooth base with cordless remote extensions so he could leave his cell phone in one place and have extensions all over the house. 
  2. Replace the land line with a box from Verizon called Home Phone Connect that would allow us to continue to use our existing cordless phones (which costs about $25 a month with a 2 year contract).

  3. Go with Vonage as one of the more popular Voice Over Internet Protocol services (VoIP).

  4. Expand our current involvement with Comcast and get their VoIP phone service (initially, it would cost us less than we currently pay per month, but then after a year or two would be more).

  5. Look at other VOIP options that are cheaper and relatively well rated by users.
We ended up going with the last option.  Thaddeus found a company named VoIPo, who charge for the initial router box ($129) and then charges under $6.00 a month for all the services we could possibly want (especially for the Luddite).  We were able to port over our home number very quickly, and use our current cordless phone system.  We've had the service for a bit over a week, and so far, we're quite pleased with it.

Current Knitting
I think I'm at that point in a knitting project where I think it will NEVER be finished and even when I complete a lot of knitting, it doesn't seem to have added anything to the garment.

Fortunately, I absolutely love the fabric of this blanket and the colors I'm enjoying more and more as it refuses to grow.  So, it's a good bet that I'll finish this blanket as quickly as infinity will allow.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Rocky Mountains - One More Time

I forgot that not only did we get swag at the retreat, but I also purchased a bit of yarn and I have a little video directly from the Rocky Mountains!

Great Stuff
First of all, despite deciding not to do swag this year, Brady was able to get us some wonderful give-aways.

The bag and the green yarn were both from the Coats & Clark company...the fantastic sock yarn was from Donna at Skeindalous.  I think Donna's colorway is even better than last year, and I just checked out her web page and she has some incredible sock the yellow/green.

One of the other very generous sponsors of the Rocky Mountains Men's Knitting Retreat, is a local yarn store in Estes Park, called The Stitchin' Den.  Each year, in addition to providing a full scholarship for one of the guys, they also host a cocktail party at the store for us.  I always like to support fiber companies that support the manly knitters, so I purchased a bit of local and foreign yarns.

The tweedy, natural color yarn is a alpaca/merino blend called Powder River made in Wyoming by Mountain Meadow Wool, and the sock yarn is a great colorway I'd never seen of Skacel's Zauberball.  Here's a closeup of the Zauberball:

Finally (and I this is the final posting of the Rocky Mountain Retreat for this year...I promise), I took a short video of the creek right down the road from the retreat center.  I sat here for about an hour, listening to music and relaxing before retreating.

It was truly heaven.

Current Knitting
I've been doing more work on the Milano blanket...I'll post a project photo in the next blog entry.