August 28, 2007

What am I supposed to do with this stick?

The relay "baton" (actually a box) came and went earlier this week. I don't know how ahead we are, but I'm sure that I beat my own record.

What relay was this? Did Nanc actually run* somewhere?

Nope. It was the Dish Rag Tag that I participated in, and woo-boy - this is gonna be a close heat!



* Did you see a bear? Yeah, neither did I.

Emily is r0x0r and had the brilliant idea to host a dish rag tag, a continental knitting race comprised of teams of strangers! (Continental as in the participants are from specific continents, not knitting continental-style.) Imagine Death Race 2000, but with kitchen cotton, crazy knitters all over the globe, and less death-for-sport antics.

I'm part of the Rapid Rag Relayers team, and our knitters shot out of the gate like gangbusters! Of course, I want to keep up the momentum and have been waiting (and waiting) for the baton/box. And then...

  • 17:08 hours - Come home from werk to find The Box on our doorstep.
  • 17:14 hours - Open and rifle through gifties, grab the yarn and needles, and start a-knittin'.
  • 18:37 hours - Break for dinner that Matty so kindly cooked (roasted veggies and rotisserie chicken - yum). Enjoy an episode of Weeds season 2.
  • 19:26 hours - Realize that I've been knitting row #3 wrong this entire time; continue with new "version."
  • 20:51 hours - Weave in ends, a snip of the scissors, and admire my skillz!
  • 21:32 hours - Pack it all up, seal it with care, and call it a night!

At 08:08 hours on Tuesday, I sent the box on its merry way and transferred the baton to Becky.

This event has been a complete joy to take part in. The team comaraderie! The quick and fun project! Seeing participants put efforts forward like Marcia! Plus the loverly bits and baubles that Sherri tucked in the box for me. (I lovelovelove that tea!) I am totally in for this again.

Just another way that knitting is becoming a sport.

Posted by Nanc at 10:45 PM | Comments (7)

August 24, 2007

Berfday Boy

It was his Bonez' birthday this week (yesterday, to be exact). Birthdays are celebrated for an extended week at our house: weekend to weekend.

So far, he has received all things that make a Matty happy:

  • a kewl pad of diner placemats
  • PEZ shoes
  • PEZ display stands
  • battery-operated, swimming pool shark
  • spinning books
  • spumoni ice cream
  • Weeds season 2 DVD

And there's so much more left to do/give (get, in his case)!

Come on and wish this Bonez a Happy!

Posted by Nanc at 05:33 PM | Comments (4)

August 15, 2007

Mid-Year PEZ Spectacular

It's time to check in on the recent PEZ aquisitions.

Not interested? ... What if I said, "Elvis"?

Yeah, you heard right. Elvis has been immortalized on the top of a candy dispenser. And it's about darn time if you ask me. Year after year I watch while new dispensers honor every crummy kids show or movie. Off the top of my head... how about the Tweenies, Cars, Over the Hedge, Animated Mr. Bean, Bratz etc.

In order to make up for this indiscretion, pezco released not one, but three different King dispensers. Each dispenser memorializes a different period from military Elvis, to um... just Elvis, to bedazzled Elvis. While I appreciate the effort, the actual sculpting leaves a little bit to be desired.

Moving on, I actually haven't discussed the new arrivals since last year, so I'm just going to touch on each briefly. The associated pix are in the gallery.

Around Christmas, a new seasonal character was introduced. Nice to see you, Mrs. Claus. I don't what other characters can possibly be released in this series... We've had Santa, snowmen, angels, bears, elves, reindeers, and now Mrs. C. Could a baby Jesus be next?

Best of Pixar is a fantastic release. Instead of releasing whole sets for movies, they just picked our favorites. This set includes Buzz Lightyear(woot!), Mike, Sully, and Nemo. My favorite in this set is Buzz. He is a multi-piece mold, and darn cool lookin'.

Japanese mini set - Nintendo characters. Each of these miniscule guys is a fully functional dispenser that holds a few pieces of candy. Just beatiful craftsmanship, in a pint size container. In Japan, these can only be purchased in vending machines.

Meet the Robinsons. Nice set, haven't seen the movie. Not much to say. Is that guy the Purple Pieman?

Ratatouille. I've heard good things about this movie, and the PEZ are top notch. Very detailed, and fantastic colors.

This special Mickey and Minnie Mouse were cast in grayscale in honor of Mickey's 80th anniversary. This set was released in Japan and limited to only 2500 sets.

Cockta truck. I know what you're thinking, but this has nothing to do with roosters. Cockta is a Slovenian carbonated beverage made from dog rose berries. These trucks were packaged with the drink for a while. I guess to encourage people who didn't like dog rose berry soda?

Misfit trucks - About 7-8 years ago, Pez.com released a set of "Misfit" trucks exclusively on their web site. The trucks came in white and glow in the dark. I'm just a little late on getting these into the collection.

Craig's Eggs - Nancy's brother (and mine), Craig picked these Japanese mini pez up for me while he was in Japan. They were purchased from a vending machine, which explains the egg containers.

Planet Earth - PEZ was going to do a set of "solar system" dispensers. I think that the demand was pretty low, so they stopped after doing Earth. It's a shame. I totally woulda bought Uranus. heh.

Psycho hand - The pychedelic series is a favorite of mine, and I purchase them whenever I can. They're groovy, man. They are remakes of a dispenser created by PEZ in the late '60's. I'm not saying that they're hippy, but the dispensers came with flower-flavored candy. Yeah, really.

Giant Hello Kitty - I adopted this giant Hello Kitty from Froggie's 5&10. In her maw she is holding a normal Hello Kitty Pez. This pose isn't for kitty-on-kitty carnage action, just to show you how creepy-huge the dispenser is. Oh yeah, and it dispenses full packs of candy.

Robot from Lost in Space - Unlike the giant Hello Kitty, this giant Pez doesn't have a normal size Pez counterpart. When you flip the top, the robot says things like... "Danger Will Robinson." It also says something PEZ-related, but I can't think of it right now.

Gold Soccer Ball-This was another limited release. 2006 of these were made to commemorate the 2006 World Cup. GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!

Metro Bratz K-9 - I hope you're not too confused. This isn't really a set. The first is a dispenser for a German hockey team - The Metro Stars. Next, is Sasha from the Bratz series, and finally, is a crystal K-9 dog to commemorate -- oh heck, something or other.

Moomin - I don't know much about this Japanese mini set, other than it's name is Moomin. Which is pretty fun to say. Say it. Moomin. ahh. I like these guys. They're pretty cute.

Ariel and Cinderella - PEZ US has been trickling out this set of Disney princesses. Every couple of months they release a few more. Snow White is next.

Nascar- Yep. It's a dispenser. and a car. Like any good toy car, you can pull it back and it will zoom away.

Hello Kitties - A European Hello Kitty release. I've already given Hello Kitty too much space in this article, so I'm not going to even mention the cuteness factor of these dispensers.

Kyorochan - Mascot for a Japanese chocolate company. These have an interesting retro look. I can't say why I like 'em. I just do.

Gecko -Not a happy PEZ, but a terrifying killer lizard that was discovered lurking in our house. Don't be fooled by the pic. It's an optical illusion. Nanc has giant hands.

Posted by Matty at 04:37 PM | Comments (10)

August 13, 2007

No knits here

Not that anyone is coming around much since the posts have dried up. (Apparently there's been either a mental or a time drought in these parts.)

But just in case you did stop by for a looksie or this was picked up in your Bloglines, know that there is no knitting content. None. Only a lackluster explanation of why there is no knitting. (Sad, really. Pathetic.)

Read on only if you want to pity me or listen to my whimpers (or, more likely, kick me in the caboose and tell me to get real).

It all started with my wrist. (You need those things for knittin' apparently.) A slight, yet highly annoying and painful sprain to my right wrist kept me out of knitting commission for a good long time. To add insult to injury, it may have been knitting related!

See... A few months ago I was finishing up the re-read of Harry Potter book 3 by listening to the audio file. (That voice is greatness.) It was towards the end of the book, where all the action happens, and I was knitting. And knitting.

The next day, my hand/wrist were sore and tender from lack of breaks while knitting all night. I tried to rest it; I even moved my mouse to my left side! Then a couple days later, while doing something that involved not paying attention to what hand I was using, I went to through the trash out and heard (and felt) a PING.

Since, I've been trying to rest it and give it time to heal. But I have never been a patient person.

So while I was waiting to heal, I lodged a massive knot in my back which left me couch- and heating pad-bound. (There's something to be said about not sleeping on one side the entire night.) A bit of the heating pad and a few nights in the hot tub helped to work the large sailorís knot down to a manageable shoelace knot.

Meanwhile, my toe starting acting up. (Go ahead and roll your eyes.) That's right, I have not been knitting because of my toe. Or more accurately, I missed knit nite with the grrls last night because of my toenail.

Read this next bit only if you're not squeamish:
A bad case of ingrown toenail forced me to a "Dr. Columbo" visit, who sent me to a podiatrist for an emergency (meaning they could get it done yesterday instead of next week) lateral nail avulsion and matricectomy. AKA cut out the bad bit of toenail and deaden the nail bed so it'll never grow back.
Okay, you can read again.

This left me with a bandaged toe and a bit o' minor pain. But no knit nite. And I could have knit on the couch, but instead chose to be kept company by Harry Potter. (I'm in book 7.)

And last, but most emphatically not least, this weekend was Matt and my 7th anniversary! (Thank you.) We didn't make plans quick enough to go out of town, even to Ft. Worth, but our last-minuteness magic worked out and we spent a wonderful night at the Hotel Palomar and dinner at Trader Vic's! Both of which were fantastic.

No promises, but I might just get a bit of knitting done this week!

Posted by Nanc at 04:35 PM | Comments (10)

August 03, 2007

Buildin' stuff

I needed a new computer for an upcoming project at home (hereafter referred to as "Project X"). Instead of going out to Best Buy or Circuit City, I figured that I would save a couple of bucks and build one from parts.

I shopped wisely and built a basic computer that fit my needs. So, what kind of computer can you build on the cheap? Take a peek and see...

I
needed a system that was physically small (and cute), with average computing capabilities. Project X doesn't involve playing graphic-intensive games, it just needs to be a stable and sturdy system. To help ensure stability, I went with name brand parts.

I ended up building a far more powerful system than I actually needed, because of price points. For example I could have bought a 40GB hard drive for $37 but chose an 80 GB for $41. I bought all of the parts at Newegg.com. This isn't a commercial for Newegg, they just usually have pretty good deals on this sort of stuff.

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Case and motherboard - BIOSTAR iDEQ N1 - $139.99
  • Processor - AMD Sempron 64 1.6GHz Socket 754 Processor - $27.99
  • RAM - Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 - $56.99
  • Hard Drive - Western Digital 80GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra - $41.99
  • DVD drive - Had an old one sitting in a box - $0.00
  • Floppy drive - Who needs a floppy drive? $0.00

Total cost without shipping? $266.86. After that, it took about an hour to put the parts together. In the meantime, I saved a couple hundred bucks over what you might find in the store and got a uniquely sized case to boot. When's the last time you saw a computer at Best Buy for under $300?

If you haven't ever built a computer before, I would put the effort level at about the same as putting together a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle -- it's not really all that difficult at all. Just read the instructions. It's certainly much easier than putting together a piece of furniture from Ikea. The hardest part is figuring out your needs, then making sure that you get the right parts. For example, buying the right processor type for your motherboard...

Check out the build in the exciting gallery.

Posted by Matty at 03:13 PM | Comments (6)