A reading frenzy

Something about Christmas brings out my desire to read. I think it goes back to childhood when Christmas break was the time that I could hide from the family in my room with a stack of the books that I got for Christmas. When I got to college, Christmas break was a great time when my roommates went home and I had time to lounge around and read the stack of personal reading which collected during the time my reading was confined to textbooks and novels for English classes. Being back in school seems to have triggered this in me again. I’ve been reading like crazy and I have a stack of things to write up for my online reading journal. I just need to stop reading long enough to write them up.

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A seaonal question?

What was the best present you gave?
How was it accepted?
Was their a present you gave that went over exceptionally well this year?

Needing Christmas Pajamas?

I’ve done it again, I’ve waited until the last minute to try and get Christmas Pajama’s for my kids. I’m not finding anything cute at Target, Mervyn’s or Shopko. I’m not buying from Wal-mart just because I don’t like their racist policies. So any suggestions where I can find Pj’s that will fit a roundish 10 year old and a tallish, skinny 14 year old.

Anyone need a job?

Utah unemployment figures are down to 2.6 percent. From the economics class I took last spring that means anyone who really wants to be working can be, the text said that the economic ideal is 4% unemployment. It means that employers are going to have to raise wages in order to recruit people away from their current jobs. It means employers may have to curtail growth or start hiring from out of state and encouraging people to move here. Unfortunately, it also means that we may start seeing inflation because when recruiting wages go up, businesses raise prices to cover those new wages. Recruiting wage increases don’t necessarily lead to increases in wages for those already employed. Hmm, maybe it’s time to start looking a little less casually, but then again, this could just be the result of the Christmas retail hiring spike.

TIME Magazine Person of the Year –

I would like to take this moment to thank TIME magazine for naming me person of the year. I appreciate that TIME saw fit to recognize “that time and that energy and that passion” which I use to post and you use to read. I have to admit that sometimes I’m reading and posting not from the energy which I have but because I have no energy and since there are so few worthwhile things to watch on network TV, the internet is my evening relaxation.
Of course, I do agree with TIME that “Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.” I’ve also met some incredible people online, people who will mail chocolate to me just to prove my teacher wrong (and I have your trade items sitting in my TV room, I just haven’t mailed them to you yet).
I loved that I had a woman from India who posted comments to my blog when I first started and I would like to think that as I learned from her, she learned and understood me better too.
The communities I belong to exemplify the TIME conclusion, “This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person. It’s a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who’s out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you’re not just a little bit curious.” Too bad they left out Stitcher to Stitcher.

A weekend out of town….

I was hoping for a relaxing weekend out of town. See, I was offered a weekend in Southern Utah if I would carry down the cases of a magazine from where the printer had left them. In addition, my DH was invited and he would have the opportunity to go shooting with some other large format photographers.
It was not relaxing. Our trip down was marred by the first prong of a 2 part snowstorm and roads that we usually travel at 75 to 80 miles per hour were only safe at about 55 to 60. Even then we saw an overturned semi-trailer and about 7 or 8 cars sliding off the road.
Southern Utah was nice and warm when we arrived. We had great Thai food in St. George (except I will never again order any sushi that offers to put ‘mayo’ on it). Sunday morning we woke up to about a foot of snow on the ground. I have to admit that I don’t put snow and red rock country together and this was definitely one of those rare photo opportunities so I took DH’s digital camera (don’t laugh, he does actually own one) and went with the group to Zion National Park. It’s not common to see snow at Zion. I haven’t downloaded any of the raw files yet but I’ll work on it.
After a full day of shooting, we got the snow advisory for the area between Beaver and Salt Lake City but headed up anyway since we had to be home for work on Monday. We were lucky and really didn’t hit any bad road spots until the American Fork/Lehi area. That left us taking one hour for an area that normally takes 15 to 25 minutes depending on traffic. Tomorrow morning’s commute should be interesting.

Weekend report

Yes, I was supposed to work this weekend. I brought files home to do. I spent the weekend playing Diamond Mine and Bejeweled and sleeping. Not much else got done except the TWRR. I just need to pick up some 3005 beads and it’s ready to mail.

Out of Town LNS report

I love going to LNS’s when I travel. Today I hit the jackpot. I visited an LNS I found by accident located only 8 miles from my hotel.

The Needle Nook
1299 Broadway
Atwater, CA 95301
(209) 358-7853

She has Marbek Angels at $5.00, Tokens of Affection (TW’s Victorian Pattern),TW’s Christmas Wreath, Brillant Plumage, Tapesty Cat, Tea Scene, All the Carousel Horses, Noah’s Ark and many othersShe has tons of OOP Leisure Arts and Stoney Creeks.

She isn’t online but she will ship. She’s willing to look around if people will call her and give them her requests. Irene also gave me her personal email if any one wants to contact her that way with their shopping lists.

She has service with AOL and her user name is SUNFFY.(not Snuffy, SUNFFY).

As for my haul – She had all four of the Just Cross Stitch circular Christmas patterns by Cathy Livingston that were printed from 1990 through 1993. I found 3 more Livingston patterns that I didn’t know existed – Santa’s Visit, Magic of Santa and Floral Tapestry. I got the Douglas Designs Christmas Magic Carousel Fantasy, Teresa Wentzler’s Topiary Trees (which may be a duplicate but I don’t remember owning it), and Peter Underhill’s Mythical Beasts Dragon and Griffin. Total for that haul – – $73.00 I would be paying double or triple that trying to get them all off eBay, if I could even find them.

For those of you who don’t know who Cathy Livingston is she was the featured designer at Just Cross-Stitch before Teresa Wentzler who was followed by Marie Barber.

SuDoku as a Logic puzzle?

My travel rituals always start with a stop at Crismon’s News and Views. Unfortunately, Sudoku has replaced logic problems at the newsstand. So I picked up the New York Post Su Doku Difficult book and a note in the forward has changed my attitude and strategy for these puzzles. Wayne Gould who is a Su Doku designer states: “If you are writing too many pencil marks, it means you are not understanding how the puzzle works. You are relying too much on mechanical procedures, without appreciating the underlying logic. If, in time, you can shake yourself free of written pencil marks, you will see the Su Doku puzzle for what it is – a thing of beauty!”
So I tried it his way. I tried it putting only the number that I logically knew went in the square. If I could only narrow it down to one or two, I went to a different part of the puzzle and then came back later. I’m finding that I’m solving them faster and they’re easier than before and without the little pencil marks that were distracting me before. He’s right; they’re just another logic puzzle without the fun stories. Both are solved through a process of elimination and they make beautiful sense.