I’d Say I Had PMS . . .

. . . if I still had anything to have PMS with.   Ditched all that in the 1980’s and good riddance.  Now I’m democratically crabby* —  crabby for reasons that do not discriminate against age, sex, race, creed or national origin:  Lack of sleep, a pounding sinus headache and a whiney (the white one) “child” who has been bowing on my last nerve like an inept violinist all evening.

2015_01_11-09Of the last 15 minutes, I spent:  10 minutes crouched under my desk with a flashlight, pet mess spray and a roll of paper towels cleaning up kitty urp deposited behind the green waste basket by the grey kitty, some of which was projected into the crack between the plywood board where my desk and chair are and the baseboard; and 5 minutes yelling at the white one to be quiet and at the black one to leave the grey one alone.  I’ve been feeding the grey one sliced turkey up on top of the washing machine (too high for either of the other two to jump), trying desperately to get some extra protein into her diet to (a) keep her alive and (b) try to put some meat on her bones.  (She’s just so thin.  She looks like a victim of Auschwitz.)  The black one is already jealous of her as it is because reasons, and me feeding her special stuff that he doesn’t get is exacerbating and escalating that situation.  Add to it that he’s a little thug who outweighs her by at least 10 lbs., and there you are.

I have a sinus headache because the cedars and junipers in the area are shedding pollen and my sinuses are having a hissy fit because of it.  We’ve been having a warming trend in the past week, and had some precipitation that washed the gin trash out of the air, which was a relief, so now the cedars and junipers have a clear field.

It’s the last day of the month and the last day of the pay period.  Everybody is trying to make as much hay as they can before the sun sets on the payperiod.  Consequently, there’s not a lot of work, which is just fine with me.  I have no patience with the typical lot of mumblers, clutterers, and English-second-language dictators just at the moment.  Frankly, I’d rather be knitting.

2015_01_31-01Yesterday, I joined the sleeves on the reader’s shrug that I’m knitting from the center of the back in both directions to the cuff of the sleeves (loops at top and bottom), using a figure-of-eight cast on (which is not the same as the Turkish cast on) and employing the magic loop technique.  When you use the magic loop method with knitting socks, it prevents “second sock syndrome.”  In this case, I’m using it to prevent “second sleeve syndrome” and because I hate to have to knit things in pieces and then sew them together.  If it is at all possible to knit something all of a piece, I will figure out how and do it that way.  I will post this pattern for this shrug when I get the piece finished.  It’s actually pretty simple.

Figure-of-eight cast on, right side
Figure-of-eight cast on, right side
Figure-of-eight cast on, wrong side
Figure-of-eight cast on, wrong side

It’s a “reader’s” shrug because the reason I’m knitting it is to keep my arms warm while I’m reading in bed. (Life is so hard!)  It has two balls of yarn attached — one going in each direction from the center back and forming each sleeve.  Once the sleeves are done, I will pick up the stitches around the center opening and make a little border around the front edge (not unlike this here).  I may even use some kind of a knitted lace stitch to do it just because the whole rest of the shrug is nothing but plain K1, P1 ribbing. It’s done in this lovely silvery blue colored yarn which none of the above pictures do justice to.

At some point, it would behoove** me to update those of my Ravelry Projects which were done from patterns I worked out myself and link them to the posts featuring those patterns in my new knitting blog. . . ahem. . .

Kelly Butterfly
A former caterpiggle who turned into a busterfly . . .

Speaking of reading, I’ve kind of been falling down on the job.  I’ve only read 17 books this year so far, several of which were very heavily illustrated  —  yearly collections of Walt Kelly‘s classic newspaper comic strip “Pogo” from the 1950’s through the 1970’s — he was the one who started that thing of gathering a year’s worth of daily strips together and publishing them in book form.   His artwork was gorgeous (he was an animator for Disney before he started Pogo, so he had some serious graphic chops) and he had that kind of off-the-wall humor I love, both in verbal and graphic formats (interesting takes on members of the insect family — see left; a turtle named Churchy La Femme; a toothless snake, Snavely by name, who wore a derby, kept dipping into the snake bite cure, and was teaching an earthworm how to be a rattler; three bats who also wore derby hats, smoked cigars, and played cards, named Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildewed — who could never keep straight who was who — if they put on the wrong trousers when they got up in the morning, they didn’t know who they were all day.  Like I say, they were bats . . .)  His political satire was sharper than a serpent’s tooth (Khrushchev was a bear, Lyndon Johnson, “The Loan Arranger” was a long-horned cow, Nixon was a teapot with eight legs, and Agnew was a hyena) and he did things with a bear, a possum, a hound dog, a rabbit, a turtle, a ladder, a bucket of water and a prop door that is one of the funniest bits of slapstick since the heyday of Sir Charles and that herd of cops he used to hang out with. . .

I’ve also gotten into several subgenres of “Regency romance” here-to-fore not seen much in captivity — Regency fantasy in the form of the “glamorist” novels of Mary Robinette Kowal — who looks disturbingly like the “artists’ recreation” of Jane Austen, BTW, and Regency mystery, the Sebastian St. Cyr novels of C. S. HarrisSharon Lee turned me on to Harris, and Neil Gaiman turned me on to Kowal.  I’ve been heavy into the Greywalker books of Kat RichardsonDiana Wynn Jones remains a favorite.  The last two of hers I read were such a snort.   I’ve been trying to read some classic Ursula LeGuin, but so much of her stuff is dark and heavy.  It may be time to read the Earthsea books again.  I’m thinking I need to get Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory.  I’ve got all three extant books of her Eternal Sky series, but haven’t started reading it yet for some reason.  And at some point here soon I’ll need to start rereading the last few of C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner books to get up to speed for the new one that’s coming out in a couple of months.

And, now that I think of it, I’ve got a bunch of books on my Kindle that I really need to start reading. . . .  I better get busy on my shrug.

*which is not to be confused with a crabby Democrat, which is a donkey of a quite different color.
** What is the first person form of this verb, “beheave?”

A Loud Weekend

All weekend I’ve had that feeling that I’m about to come down with something, although it’s not as bad today as it was Friday and yesterday.   No actual symptoms, just the feeling that some were trying to happen. A slight suggestion of queasiness that was almost nausea but not quite.  The feeling that a headache was lurking, waiting, about to happen, any minute now.  A kind of swimmy feeling in my head.  I really wanted to just crawl in bed and sleep, but I had to work.

Add to it that the thundering herd upstairs has been at it all weekend while I’m trying to hear and type dictation. One of their three children under the age of 8 (in a two-bedroom apartment, no less) is a boy who apparently is incapable of doing anything quietly.  He seems to be unable to walk, and so must run everywhere — clump-clump-clump -THUMP- BUMP as he ricochets off the furniture.  He was jumping on the floor directly above me while I was trying to work Friday, creating an incredible din, and it got to the point where I just reared back and hollered “Chill!” at the top of my voice, not once, but twice, putting all my anger and frustration behind it.  Apparently, I was heard and there was a sudden and blissful silence that lasted for almost a whole hour.  I wrote another email to the apartment complex manager about the din.  I work from 3 p.m. to midnight, and the noise goes on all day until 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night, since there’s no school on Saturday or Sunday.  This afternoon, the weather was warm enough that they could go outside, so no thumping for several hours, just kids yelling and screaming shrilly right outside my window.  Tonight, I’m getting cut a miniscule amount of slack as there is school tomorrow.  I just think how lucky I am that little boy is not my kid.  I’d have smothered him in his sleep years ago. . . . His purpose in life seems to be to remind me on an hourly basis why I hate having people live above me and why I deliberately chose an upstairs apartment to live in for nearly 22 years (and would still be living there probably if TXDOT hadn’t torn it down to build a freeway), and the thing I liked best about the duplex.  It was blissfully quiet.  The one mitigating factor is that there is apparently enough insulation that the voices hardly come through at all.

I am accumulating UFOs* again.  I’m still working on the baby blanket, although my mom’s vest is 99.9% finished, I have a button to put on and three ends to weave in.  I still need to heel and finish a pair of socks and a pair of baby booties, the shrug is in medias res, probably just about ready to start the sleeves, and I’ve started two hats.

2015_01_25-05The pink hat is made from a rampantly Pepto-Bismol pink yarn called “Honolulu Pink” and is based on a pattern that I modified by adding a K4, P2 ribbing to the bottom; however, I’m seriously considering ripping it out and starting it over again on a size 10/6.0 mm or size 11/8.0 mm diameter 16-inch long circular needle rather than the size 9/5.5 mm 2015_01_25-06metal double pointed ones I’m using.  It has cables, and it’s frustrating to do cables on double pointed needles, especially slippery metal ones.  I may have to take out the four stitches I added to make up for the smaller needles. But then again, I may just go ahead and finish it and give it away, probably to my BFF.  I bought three skeins of the pink yarn, and it should only take one skein to do the hat.  We’ll see.

2015_01_25-02The other hat is going to be like a cross between a chullo, a bonnet and a scarf.  The way my head is shaped, I have problems wearing knitted caps and watch cap type hats.  I’ve been thinking about the problem.  Usually when I want to wear a knitted cap, I want to wear a scarf,  too.  This hat is like a scarf folded in half and sewn from the fold down about 8-10 inches on one side with the rest of the scar for ties, covering the ears, and having the scarf tied once under the chin, for a win-win situation.  It starts with a figure-of-eight cast on and is knitted on one long circular needle.  I hate sewing bits of knitting together, and I haven’t tried learning to do the Kitchener stitch. I’d just rather work out how to do it all in one piece.  This hat has cables, too, braided cables.  Three of them. Because it’s knitted in both2015_01_25-03 directions at once starting from the top of the head and working down the sides, the cables join up perfectly and seamlessly across the top of the head. I’m using the yarn I had left over from my mom’s vest.  I’m using size 9/5.5 mm needles, but I think I may have to go up to size 10’s/6.0 mm.  It’s knitted in a “U” shape.  I’m writing the pattern as I go along.  I hate the thought of ripping it out again.  I bet I must have ripped it out and started over 10 times last night when I was trying to get it going.  I’m also going to relocate two stitches from the back to the front and make a 3-stitch band of garter stitch to the front of it to keep the front edge from curling. I might do a variant that has a cowl attached instead of a scarf.  Of course, now that I’ve started doing these two winter hats, the weather has started a warming trend.  It’s supposed to start getting into the low 70’sF/20’s C on Tuesday and Wednesday, wouldn’t you know.

Working on a pattern in a live Word document on the computer screen is great for making modifications to an existing pattern and especially for writing patterns as I go.  Now that I have a knitting blog, I can post these new patterns on line. . . .


*UnFinished Objects


Books Read in 2015

14. Dark Lord of Derkholm, Jones, Diana Wynn
13. Till We Have Faces, Lewis, C. S.
12. Catch the Lightening, Asaro, Catherine
11. Seawitch, Richardson, Kat
10. Unexpected Magic, Jones, Diana Wynn
9. Fortunately, The Milk, Gaiman, Neil
8. Downpour, Richardson, Kat
7. Labyrinth, Richardson, Kat
6. Pogo’s Double Sundae, Kelly, Walt
5. Pogo’s Bats and the Belles Free, Kelly, Walt
4. Primary Inversion, Asaro, Catherine
3. Johannes Cabal, The Necromancer, Howard, Jonathan L.
2. Beau Pogo, Kelly, Walt
1. Emerald House Rising, Kerr, Peg

* Ebook

The East Wind Hath Blown . . .

2015_01_21-08. . .And we have got snown.  Not a whole lot of it, but we got some, and it’s still coming down kinda sorta.  The snow is on the wet slushy side, probably because it’s not that cold out.   Still, it’s a good day to stay in.

I’ve been pootling around on the computer refining my new knitting blog.  I’ve been all snuggly, with a lap robe on, sometimes by myself, and sometimes with the grey kitty nestled in between my knees. Here in a minute, I may go brew some Tazo chai and put some Coffee Mate Crème Brulée flavored creamer in it.  Nums.

2015_01_21-052015_01_21-06You can tell how wet the snow is by how it’s plastered to the pseudo-mansard roofs of the apartment buildings.  There’s a rime of snow on the door frame of my front door, too.  It’s not cold enoughweather widget 01-22-2015 to stick to the streets, and there’s just a slushy coating on the sidewalks.  According to the weather widget (see below), it’s 30F/-1.1C at the moment, but it should be gradually warming up with the predicted high of 65F/18.3C by Monday.  I hope the roads will be clear in the morning so my mom can go to the “beauty saloon” and get her hair done. She has a standing appointment for every Friday morning.

I’ve been listening to one of my favorite internet radio stations:  Interstellar Radio — not strictly ambient, but an interesting variety.  I can’t decide whether to start this knitted hat I want to do or to take a leaf from the black one’s book.  Good sleeping weather, too.


Wasted Wednesday

Well, not entirely wasted.  I found this in one of the blogs I follow.

Too beautiful not to share.

I got two twin-size microfleece blankets on sale at Walmart.  One is a dusky steely blue that matches the drapes in the living room.  The other is a leopard print.  I got them intending to turn them into lap robes by folding them in half lengthwise, sewing around the sides except for just a bit so I can turn the result inside out, then sew about an inch in from the edge around all four edges to make a border.  They make wonderful lap robes. They are so soft and you can just toss them in the washing machine.  I made my dad’s “Blankies” this way, except I used king sized blankets to get the length I needed as he was 6’2″ and wanted one that would cover him from chin to toe.  The blue one is for the living room, and the leopard one is for the office. I intended to do this today.  Instead, I finished reading “Dark Lord of Derkholm” by Diane Wynn Jones, and then sat at the computer reading blogs, dozed off, woke up and kept on reading blogs.

The grey one is sleeping on my chest at the moment. She likes the Laxatone gel I got at the vet’s that’s supposed to “ease things along.”   Unfortunately, the white one is wild about it.  He nearly bit my finger trying to get the blob of it off.  I got some white water dishes for them – ramekins, actually, but they’re just the right size, and white like the vet recommended — they match the smaller ramekins I got for food dishes for them.  I had been using one of my big white soup mugs, but will start using the ramekins once I’ve used the dishwasher again. I talked to the vet this afternoon about how to fatten the grey one up.  She needs something with lots of good, clean “carnivore” protein and he suggested feeding her canned chicken or cooked lean hamburger meat.  The canned chicken is what I think I’ll go with.  I’ve got to think of a place where I can feed her that the other two can’t get to.  She’s a climber so a high place seems best.  Unfortunately, the only place I can think of is the kitchen counter, which is not a place I want her on.  Another problem is that of jealousy.  The black one is very jealous and tends to be rather mean to whoever I show any affection toward.

My BFF bought me a shower curtain that has a rendering of the Eiffel Tower on.  It was supposed to be a British phone box, but they sent her the wrong thing.  Actually, the Eiffel tower fits my color scheme better.  I’m thinking of taking down the bifold doors that cover my washer and dryer, and use this shower curtain instead.  I have a curtain rod I got to do that.  The bifold doors don’t quite cover the opening, anyway.  There’s about a half-inch gap.  If I take the doors down and just use the curtains, I could feed her on top of the dryer.  She can jump that high, but the white one is not a jumper, and never has been.  The black one is just too fat to make it that high.  He’s never been much of a jumper either.  I could put her a bowl of water up there, too.  I might can put the doors on the floor of my bedroom closet.  My shoes are on a rack on the wall, rather than on the floor, so that’s no problem, or else under my bed up toward the head end.   I’d like the handyman to come take them away.  Don’t know if he will, though.

While we’re on the subject of handymen, I’d also like the track on the closet doors in the office fixed. That one side does not want to move, and has a tendency to jump the track if I try forcing it to move.  It’s a pain in the rear because that’s the side of the closet my sewing machine is on.  It’s on the shelf above the rod.  I need to get the step ladder out and look at the track to see if I can discover what the problem is.  I may be able to fix it myself.  But not right this now.

Part of the problem is that I missed some doses of the N-acetylcisteine (NAC) I’ve been taking.  It helps me in a number of very subtle ways and I really notice a change in my mood when I miss a dose.

It’s supposed to snow tomorrow.  My weather widget says it’s raining now.  I haven’t looked out the window to see if it’s actually raining on me . . . If it snows tomorrow I hope it’s just the kind that doesn’t stick on the pavement, or that melts off the pavement.  We can always use the moisture, but the way the people in this town drive, any weather phenomenon that affects the road surfaces is like a sign that reads “Demolition Derby Day” to them. Anyway, I hope the roads are clear Friday and Saturday, because my mom goes to the “beauty saloon” on Friday morning and she has one of her clubs meeting on Saturday.  I’m not worried about my mom’s driving, it’s everybody else’s.

One of the joys of using two monitors is that while I’m using one, I can “empty” the other one and look at the pictures in my wallpaper program. I’ve got a bunch of stuff in it — photographs of landscapes, a bunch of paintings by Andrew Wyeth (whose work and style I adore), and one thing and another that I’ve run across and like looking at — eye candy. Each picture stays on for 10 minutes.

IMG_1974I think here in a minute I’ll get something to eat and take my evening dose of NAC, and I may start a hat, or I may create that knitting blog as a place to put my knitting patterns like I’ve been thinking about. When I do, I’ll link it to this blog, of course.  It just occurred to me I needed to take the garbage out — three trash cans full, plus the kitty “waste” and if it was going to snow tomorrow, I’d better do it just now.  Guess what. It has already snowed.  Not sticking to the pavement, though. IMG_1973

Not The Worst News But . . .

. . . But then not exactly the best news either. The grey one’s not diabetic (that’s a relief!  I nursed poor Jett through three years of insulin injections.  I’d really rather not ever have to do that again.).  She’s not got thyroid problems.  Her lab tests were completely normal, except her BUN was high.  The upper limit of normal is the 30’s, and hers was in the 50’s, which would indicate kidney disease.  However, her creatinine is normal, so she’s in the very early stages of it.

The problem with her kidneys is, they’re starting to spill protein into in her urine, which is not supposed to happen.  This causes protein to be leeched out of her muscles, which is why she’s losing weight.  From 8 lbs to 5 lbs in 9 months.  Not good at all.  There’s a $pecial food. . . Science Diet KD formula.  Of course, it’s twice as expensive as the Science diet Senior Hairball formula they’re getting now.  The problem is, whatever I feed her, I pretty much have to feed the other two.  It won’t hurt them to eat the KD formula.  What I can do is mix it in with what they’re already getting and see that she drinks more water.  I found some treats that she adores that have freeze dried tuna in them, so there’s that.   I’m also getting some white dishes to use for their water as the vet says kitties are more likely to drink water if the dish is white.  I don’t know why this is, but that’s what the vet says.  I want her to drink more water, so white water dish it is.

If I had to choose between thyroid problems and kidney problems, I’d have chosen the thyroid problems.  There’s medication and/or there’s food I could have given her, and with her thyroid hormones back in balance, it would have been a simple matter of keeping them there.  But kidney problems is going to be an inexorable slide.  Like diabetes, I can fend it off as long as I can (and can afford to — which is the emotional thumbscrew here), but sooner or later (much later, hopefully) there will come the time when I have to make that tough decision.  Again.  With Shadow, the first one I lost, the decision was made for me by the huge osteosarcoma inside her ribcage.  With Jett, I had to make the choice: not if, but when.

I was mentally bracing for losing the white one first.  He’s 15 going on 16.  I was not anticipating having to deal with the thought of losing my sweet baby girl just yet.  I just don’t want to go there.

In the meantime, I am still being a referee.  It’s been two days since she came home from the vet and the black one has figured out who she is now.  The white one, on the other hand, has a stuffy nose and he has been very cantankerous, growling and hissing at this “strange” cat every time she gets close to him — and she growls and hisses right back at him.

In other news, the mileage on the new car is now 1355.

An Expensive Day

I took the grey one to the vet today instead of yesterday, because I wanted to be here to referee once I’d brought her home for however long it takes everybody to hiss and make up.  Because of her winter coat, I hadn’t realized just how skinny she’d gotten until I picked her up the other day and she weighed almost nothing.  They weighed her and it is very concerning that she weighed 8 pounds in May of 2014 and now she only weighs 5.5.  The vet says her colon is full of poop. (I suspect the black one is harassing her to the point that he will not let her poop in peace, the little thug.)  I periodically find a couple of pieces of poop in inappropriate places, where she’s hidden from the black one long enough to do her thing.    They did a “senior panel” blood test on her (That’ll be $125 please, thank you very much).   They kept her for a while and gave her an enema, which produced results. I won’t get the results of the blood work until tomorrow.  It will pick up things like diabetes and thyroid problems, as well as metabolic imbalances that may point to other problems.

I don’t think she’s got diabetes because she doesn’t have her head in the food bowl all the time, and I don’t notice her drinking a lot of water.  She may have a thyroid problem, which I understand can now be treated with $pecial food.  (The black one is already so jealous of the other two, and if she gets special food that he doesn’t, he will bully her even more than he does now.)   Anyway, it could just be that she’s so full of poop that her food has no place to go, which would explain why she tends to come unfed fairly easily.  I’ve got some “Laxatone” (guess what that does  . . .) which is tuna flavored.  I also got her some tuna flavored treats “with real tuna.”  She loves them.  I’m afraid of feeding her too many at a time because she might just decide to refund them, but she acts like she’d eat the whole packet if I’d let her.  Poor little baby girl.

Of course, in addition to the $125 lab test, they charge you $45 just to walk in the door.   Still, she’s my sweet baby girl and I don’t begrudge her the almost $180 I dropped on her this afternoon.  If anything, I’m beating myself up for not recognizing just how much weight she’d lost and taking her in sooner.

In other news, I think I’m going to quit selling books on Amazon.  I sold 13 books through them and not only didn’t I make any money doing it, they charged me $11.62 for the privilege!

Controlling Sound and Light

2015_01_11-03When I was in Home Depot Thursday to get the “war”* to fix my foot pedal, I saw they had exactly the kind of floor lamp I had been looking for and at a really nice price.   Also, while I was wandering around looking for where the wire was — which was way back in the lumber department, I got a piece of scrap lumber to act as a backstop for the drill bit when I drilled the 4 holes in the base plate of the foot pedal for the wire to go through.  They also had a miscellaneous assortment of hooks, loops and bars that fit into the pegboard that allow you to secure different types of things to the pegboard, and I got a packet of those.  They also had some cord clamps suitable for clamping several cords together which worked so much better than clear packing tape (and without the sticky mess!) to guide and secure the various cords.

2015_01_11-02Thus equipped, I tackled the task of taking the thick, heavy, metal baseplate off the foot pedal (a simple matter of removing four screws), drilling two pairs of holes in the base plate (and breaking a drill bit in the process — just snapped that rascal in two!), threading two pieces of “war” through the holes and reattaching the foot plate to the foot pedal.  In order to take the pegboard away from the backs of the book cases it was screwed to, I had to move my chair off to the side so I could roll the desk out of the way.  Once I could get to the back of the pegboard, it was a simple matter to remove the “dead” foot pedal, slide the wires of the new one through the appropriate holes in the pegboard and twist them tight to secure the foot pedal to the peg board.  Then I just put the pegboard in place against the back of the book cases, and replaced the screws.

2015_01_11-09Of course, in reality, it’s never that simple or straightforward a process.  You have to factor in the white cat.  He has a natural talent for getting right in the middle of whatever it is I’m trying to do.  I’ve had the little schmoe for 15 years, and you’d think I would know by now that it would have made it so much easier on both of us if I had shooed all of them out of the office and shut the door — which, of course, I didn’t.  Instead, I had to constantly move him out of the way so I could get to things.  Although I did get the foot pedal mounted and working, I did it in spite of the white one.

2015_01_11-11I already have two table lamps in the living room, which are fine for just general stuff like visiting with people and watching TV, but they don’t provide task lighting. I do have a little tensor lamp on the reader table I use when I read things on my Kindle, or have a pattern to follow, but unfortunately, it also back-lights whatever I’m trying to do,  throwing the important bit — the part I actually need to see —  into shadow.  The solution to that problem is to get some kind of task lighting directed from above and behind, over my shoulder, hence the pole lamp.  I’d identified the need, but hadn’t seen a floor lamp or pole lamp that would fill the bill until I saw the one in Home Depot.  It was the right lamp at the right price.  Also, while the little tensor lamp I have is a great lamp, it’s over 13 years old and finding light bulbs for it is becoming problematic.

2015_01_11-14The lamp I got is one of those “some assembly required” things, but no tools were required.  It was a simple matter of screwing the pieces of pole together and screwing the pole onto the base.  The cord was already threaded through.  You just had to pull it taut as you screwed pieces together.  Then you attached the glass shades.  It’s a pretty little lamp and it blends nicely with the table lamps.

Now, about my living room area.  It has no ceiling light (or ceiling fan), so I’ve got to have lamps.  Apart from the outlet the TV and its accoutrements are plugged into, there are three other electrical outlets/power points, one on either side of the window and one on the same wall as the front door, and each outlet has sockets for two plugs, which would be nice except only one of the sockets in each outlet works.  I’m not sure why this is — the top socket in each of the three plugs just happened to go kaput (what are the odds of that?) or they were deliberately disabled to keep from constantly blowing the circuit breaker (not as unlikely as you might think — These apartments were built in the 1960’s).  One of these days, I’ll remember to mention it to the apartment manager.  In the meantime, I need to plug in two lamps, as well as the base unit for the cordless phone, and the phone modem attached to the TV cable that kluges around the fact that there’s only one working telephone jack (land line) in the whole apartment and it’s set up for a wall mounted phone.  So, I have one plug strip from one outlet that has the base unit and phone modem plugged into it, and a second plug strip that has the two table lamps and the pole lamp plugged into it, that is mounted on the wall, so I can turn on all three by simply turning on the plug strip.  That leaves one outlet I can get to easily to plug in the vacuum.

2015_01_11-01What with all the USB stuff I have plugged into my computer — keyboard, wireless mouse, foot pedal, a second monitor —  I only have two open USB ports.  Several months ago, I had gotten a USB hub that adds 4 more USB ports.  While I was “playing with the octopus” i.e., rummaging about in the computer cordage hooking things up, I hooked the USB hub up (for a net gain of 3 USB ports . . .) and have it in front between my monitors where it’s a lot easier to get to than the front of my desktop unit, which is angled behind my monitor.  This makes it a lot easier to plug in my camera and my MP3 players.  I had to move my digital clock to do it.



* Texan for “wire.”