Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing you peace and happiness in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Litigation I is done!

Just e-mailed the final exam back to my instructor. There is much rejoicing here in Vermont!


How I spent my Christmas vacation

Yeah, that sums it up right there. Since Christmas day I've been working on my take home final exam for my Litigation class. I thought that when you walk out of a class after the last scheduled session AND there's not final exam period, you'd be done, right? Wrong-o! This guy handed us our take home final in the last 15 minutes of that final class. Five essay questions (out of seven), citing appropriate sections of the statute as needed. He originally wanted to give us a due date of December 23rd, but quickly changed that to December 30th after we started to whine.

Anyway, I'm working on my last essay question now and plan to have the whole thing e-mailed to him tonight. Then maybe I can do a little knitting. (Yeah, knitting--hasn't been any of that around here thanks to Professor Grinch...) And blogging. I want to do some of that too, especially since I have to show you what Jim gave me for Christmas. Trust me, it's just too fabulous for words.

So, I hope the rest of you had a Christmas week that did NOT include any affirmative defenses, service of a summons and complaint, statute of limitations determinations, or third-party actions!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...

...from our house to yours.

Here's hoping that your holiday was a good one!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Eye Candy Friday -- the secret edition

Rockin' Sock Club Members Beware--
Spoilers Ahead!

For today's eye candy, you're going to have to click here to see the December Sock Club yarn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crispy Treats

One of my favorite snacks are crispy treats. Lately you can find them in places like Starbucks, and even Kelloggs makes packaged ones. Unfortunately, for the most part they're just not that fresh. (And the Kelloggs ones are just taste like they've got chemicals in them--eeeeee-yuck!) My favorite soup place has been selling them and they're pretty good. Recently they started selling chocolate ones. I figured they were being made with Cocoa Krispies, but when I looked on the ingredient label I discovered that they were using dutch processed cocoa with the regular crispies. So I thought they might be pretty good, so I tried them.

Oh. My. God! They were soooooo good. So much better than the Cocoa Krispies ones.

But it got me to thinking--I should try making these myself. So I poked around the internet looking for recipes, did a little tweaking, and came up with these.

So fresh, so chocolately, sooooooo yummy! And so easy to make!

Cocoa Crispy Treats

1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 10.5 oz bag of miniature marshmallows
4 tbsp cocoa powder
5 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder and mix well. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add crisp rice cereal and stir until well coated.

Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment paper. (If you don't have parchment paper, be sure to grease pan.) Using a buttered spatula or the back of a large spoon, press mixture into the pan. Cut into squares when completely cool. Will make between 24 to 36 squares, depending on size of squares.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Special delivery

Look at what Carole sent me for being her 20,000th commenter!
From left to right: Trekking sock yarn, Lana Grossa Soft Cotton in blue and white, and two skeins of KnitPicks Gossamer lace weight in Jeans, as well as the cutest note pad and CHOCOLATE!!!
What a fabulous assortment of goodies! And because it came from Carole, it's all the more special. Thank you, Carole!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I [heart] TripleTreds!!!

Got a chance to drive in a lovely sleet/snow/rain mixture tonight with my new tires. Oooooooooo, I luv these babies! My car handled beautifully! Look at those tread marks! I'm looking forward to seeing what she's gonna do in some real snow.

I may have my chance this Sunday...

What's up with Bloglines?

I go to Bloglines this morning and I see that I have 200 new posts. And there from a different points in the last two years. And some of them are duplicates. Uh, I didn’t do that. It refreshed itself? What’s going on, Bloglines?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Staples--that was (not so) easy...

Aside from school work and work work, I've been putting together flyers for Jim for some the LHA's 2008 events. Typesetting and printing them. All four-page flyers, printed on single sheets of 11" by 17" paper. Jim has scheduled a work day on Saturday for people to come up to the house and put together the flyers for mailing--also refered to as a "lick and stick."

The jobs with smaller quantities have been easy enough for me to handle and they've already been shipped to Jim. The big job: 675 copies of the LHA's Time Line event... sigh...

I dropped it off at a Staples near Penn Station at 9:45 this morning. They told me it would be ready by 6:00pm. I would just pick it up, box it, and drop it off at the FedEx place around the corner. Easy, right?

I get to Staples at 6:05pm. They haven't even started the job yet.


They say they don't think they can finish this tonight.

In my head I'm thinking...

Yo, dude... there are no other options. This job has to be dropped off at FedEx by 9pm. I don't care what you have to do to make this happen. Pull this print job out of your a** if you have to. Job must be at FedEx by 9pm. You must finish this job in time for me to do that. End of discussion, printer boy. I'm waiting...

I very politely stated presented that thought to "printer boy." I wasn't budging until that print job was done.

WTF! WTF! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's things like this that will make your head explode if you're not careful.

Fortunately, my issue was promptly addressed by the store manager. After stifling his own panicked response (and muttering something about killing the morning printer dude), he took care of it. Even offered me a chair and a free drink. Was profusely apologetic.

Dude, as long as I make my FedEx drop off time, it's OK. Screw me on the drop off time, you're gonna have a problem.

Seriously, dude--you don't want to screw with someone who carries pointy sticks.

I walked out of staples with my print job by 7:15. Package was dropped off at FedEx by 7:20. I'm on a train by 7:30. All's better with the world.

Now as long as FedEx remembers where the house is...

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reminder for this Sunday

Can't play with the blog today because I'm working on my final assignment for my legal writing class, which is due tomorrow. However, I didn't want to let the weekend go by without reminding y'all about watching Sunday's episode of Extreme Home Makeover on ABC. It the Vermont family that Jim knows. (Here's an article from the Rutland Herald about the upcoming episode.) Please watch, and I'll be back in a few days with some knitting content for you. Thanks!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another new toy

The GPS is here! The GPS is here!

As Punkin might say, the game show doesn't end around here. Yesterday my newest toy--a Garmin Nuvi 200--arrived on my doorstep. Now, I've always had a great sense of direction, something that I inherited from my father, and I've always thought that GPS systems were similar to spell check programs--both cause people to check their brains at the door before using. And besides, they were sooooooo expensive. Just learn to read a freakin' map, why don't ya!

However, I've gotten to see these puppies in action on the Elderhostel bus trips. They're kinda neat. AND when used as a tool to supplement navigation, they're very helpful. (Please note I said tool, not brain replacement.)

So, when I saw Wal-Mart's website offering a basic unit for $168, I thought about how useful it could be in my travels through New England. Especially when I take those detours off the interstate in search of gas or a retail outlet. Or yarn store. (There are still a few of them between here and Vermont that I haven't stopped at yet.) And I thought, what the hell! Let's go for it!

So last night I put her through her paces. Entered a few destinations to see how she'd tell me to get there. Some of the routes were dead on, others a little off, but all in all very accurate. And this morning I let her take me to the train station. I made a few turns to force her to recalcluate. She rose to the occasion like a true navigator.

Just for fun, I took her on the train with me this morning. Plugged in my office's address just to see what she'd do. She's had to recalculate her ass off, but she did it!

She even accepted the fact that we were "driving" on the train tracks!

I'm looking forward to taking her on the open road. It will be fun. And Jim no longer has to play navigator when we go on trips. He can sleep instead. ;-)

So, I have to give her a name. What do you think? Purl, maybe? After all, she will help me to find more yarn shops. (Another fiber fetish enabler in my life...)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just in the nick of time

Look at what I came home to tonight.

Good timing on that tire purchase, yes? I hope this isn't a sign of winter things to come...

My baby's got new shoes

The Blue Bean is sporting new shoes this morning. Four brandy new Goodyear TripleTreds. And in the 2 miles from the tire shop to the train station this morning I felt the difference. Seriously. Much better than the worn Geolanders that she came with. Just look at the tread on this puppy.

Now I'm ready for just about anything that Mother Nature wants to throw at me--precipitation wise that is. Except maybe for hail. Nobody's ready for hail. Doesn't she look happy?

And... while she was getting her new shoes, I finished up a sock!

Isn't she purty? That's sock #1 of my Scrolls socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Hand painted by moi in Charlotte's sock dyeing class at Webs back in May.

My first lace pattern. Lots of tinking went on with this one. Lots of lifelines added. However, as I approached the toe the amount of tinking diminished, so I'm hopeful that sock #2 will take less than seven month. (Second socks usually go faster for me in general, so cross your fingers!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decisions, decisions

First off, a big hug goes out to Carole. Last week I was lucky enough to post the 20,000th comment on her blog! And she's going to be sending me a special package! Can I get a WOO and a HOO?!?

Well, after an excessive number many hours of online research, shop visits, and phone calls, I've finally picked my tires--the Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds! I haven't really had to make a tire purchase choice since the 80s, and amazes me how the Internet lets you bypass salespeople and let's you do your own research. Of course, this same power can turn you into a crazy purchase. I went from reading Consumer Reports to general Google searches to discussion boards and customer comments. Lots of good detailed info out there, but some of the negative comments on certain tires--they just scared the hell out of me. Here's just a few samples...

Not sure where to begin. I hydroplane go 40mph. Cant get any traction at a red light if has a little water on the ground. When its dry Im very confident with them. Cant wait to get rid of them.

After 14,000 miles, I actually had the tread of my rear-passenger wheel fly off. I was riding on the inner layer of rubber and belts along with the edges of the sidewalls.

When new these tires were excellent! However, after 20k-30k performance decreased significantly in wet and snow condition. I have also had two failures... the first at around 20k when one of th 4 tires developed a "bump" on the side wall (replaced free by the Mfg) and now at 50k one of the tires has a shifted steel belt.

Pretty unsettling, aren't they? Well, I think my Blue Bean will be just fine with these puppies.

And after lots of mathematical calculations, I've chosen a near the house to get this done. A big thanks to Elizabeth for recommending, but after doing all the math they weren't going to save me any money on these. However, in the future I'll probably be turning to them first. Especially when I'm living in Vermont and don't have a tire shop every mile or so down the road. Now to pick a morning to get them done...

my Blue Bean, with the old tires still on her

And then on to the next agonizing purchase--eyeglasses!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First snow

Today was our first snow of the season in the NY Metro area. We woke up to a fairly dusty powdery snow, although on the highways it created some wet and icy surfaces. And a 32-mile drive to school this morning on tires that really need to be replaced... well, it was a little nerve wracking, even with the AWD. Please cross your fingers that I'm able to get some grippy new tires on the Blue Bean within the next week or so. I have a feeling that this is going to be a snowy winter--both here and in Vermont.

I have to get to work on some flyers for Jim, but before I go just a few things...
  • I'm coming down the homestretch for my Sunday classes. Next week is my last Legal Writing class and the week after that is the last Litigation class. The Sunday classes have been good, and I can't believe I'm almost done with them. Time to start thinking about registering for the winter semester.
  • With two of my three classes coming to an end, I'll have some time to get back to a little knitting.
  • The other night I succumb to temptation... and bought myself a Garmin GPS system that was dirt cheap on For $178, if was an offer I couldn't refuse, and totally justifiable based on the New England driving that I frequently do.
  • This is very important: Next Sunday you need to watch Extreme Home Makeover. They will be featuring a family from Vermont. These are people that Jim knows. Jim has worked with the father, Lou Vitale, at 7-Eleven. I've met Lou. He's a good, decent man, and this is a family that is so very deserving of their new home. So please watch next weekend. Click here for some more information.

Oh yeah, there's also this.

NaBloPoMo. I did it. Thirty consecutive posts. I even surprised myself!

Now there's Blog 365--post every day for a year.

I'm not that crazy.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jeopardy question

Automobiles for $600, Alex
Answer: It's almost as bad as shopping for a car.
Question: What is shopping for tires?

Yeah. Good times... NOT! I spent most of today shopping for my first set of replacement tires for my Blue Bean (a.k.a. a Subaru Forester, LL Bean Edition). Between scouring Consumer Reports online, as well as various other rating sites and message boards, and stopping by four different tires places, I think my head's going to explode. The tire places either don't have the tires that I think I want (based on Consumer Reports ratings), or the tires that they do have have some significant issues. Like being crappy on ice. Which is such sooooo not what you want for an all-wheel drive vehicle that spends time in Vermont. In the snow and ice. WTF?!?!?!?

Next week I need to call two more tire places that were closed today. Hopefully I'll have new tires within the next week or so.

Oh, and in between the tire shop stops I went to buy new eyeglasses. That's a whole other blog post story for another day... complete with cell phone photos and an accidental video.

Technology update: I figured out how to download the cell phone pictures onto a memory card, but I can't get the card reader to transfer them to my laptop. The saga goes on...