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Schtoopid.

Today my friend and I (my friend and me?) drove three hours and across two states to Trader Joe’s. Where I bought a boatload of stuff. Because I was stocking up. And when I checked out, my credit card was declined. Now, obviously, my card was not maxed out because while I buy too much yarn, I don’t buy *that* much yarn.

So the helpful TJ’s girl says, you can use our phone and call the cc company–maybe it’s because it’s such a huge amount–so I call them, and the automatic thing tells me there’s a suspicious charge at Trader Joe’s. So I speak to a person. Thanks to their GAYTARDED fraud protection bullshit, because I was in a different state–oooh! three hours away from my home!!!–and it was several hundred dollars, they flagged it as fraud and declined my card!

So then I had to answer eleventy-billion security questions, and explain where I was,  and when I was returning home (um, this afternoon, assholes?), and then they authorized the sale.

Beyond ridiculous. Tied up the cashier’s lane, tied up the phone–was really somewhat embarrassing to have the card declined. And cc company says, well, next time you go out of state, you should let us know if you’re going to use the card. What the fuck? It’s a fucking credit card!!! The purpose of which is to BUY shit. Asshats.

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Things have been very busy here at Chez Too-Many-Cats, wouldn’t you like one or two? Fiber festivals, picking up lots of work hours, weaving till all hours …

But tomorrow I will start my new Volunteer Opportunity at Operation Pets, the low-cost spay/neuter clinic for Western New York. (PETS actually stands for something: Providing Education and Targeted Sterilization, which I think is kind of clever.) I’ve long spoken of volunteering, and making myself useful, and now I put my money, or at least my time, where my mouth is.

And later in the week I will start a real schedule at the most darling gift shop ever: Kissel Country Tin, “Gifts for the Nest.” Not high-paying, but the people are lovely.

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I’m a Weaving Machine.

Well, last week, perhaps the week before, I did wind a warp on my warping board. Ten or so yards, maybe twelve, of Zephyr wool/silk. For some twill block scarves.

black warp

Sadly, I’ve not gotten to get the warp onto the Monster Loom, as it is still occupied with my “Spring Time Scarves,” Atwater-Bronson lace, of bamboo, at no less than thirty ends per inch. Although I think it takes me about twenty minutes to do a repeat, and there’s about sixteen repeats, so really, those bad boys should be done. Maybe tomorrow.

The first is this lavender (“crocus”) and the second, which is in the works, is green (“snow pea”).

crocus

And I just tried to upload from flickr, to no avail.

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Ooops!

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Seeing the Sites.

Really, the only way to see anything around where you live is to have a guest come from out of town and then play tour guide. Really, the first time I went to Alcatraz was when I went home to visit, and the first time the Mother walked across the Brooklyn Bridge was when she came to visit the Big City. Where she grew up.

So.

The “Commercial Slip.” Which even says, “Commercial Slip,” so you can’t mistake it with anything else. This on the ever-so-slowly getting revitalized waterfront.

This area of the waterfront offers ruins:

Ruins of what you ask? I don’t know. Apparently no one else knows either, because there is no information posted as to what these are ruins of. I mean, I think they’re totally cool, but I want to know what they are! “Some building.” Whatever. Not good enough.

And typos:

Now, maybe the sign-writers are being all clever and sophisticated, using some fancy rhetorical device wherein you choose words that illustrate a style of talking (I know some dear reader will tell me what that device is); but even if the clever sign-writer chose to write “spoked like a dock-worker,” isn’t that why god gave us sic. It just makes my stomach hurt when people try to make something nice, e.g., the waterfront, and do something stupid, like “spoked.” If it is purposeful stupid usage, it doesn’t work.

Wow. Grammatical rant. Moving on.

From the lovely waterfront you can view the lovely Skyway, I mean, City Skyline:

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Yes, yes. I’m a day early. Shut up.

Jamming along on the Elann Cables n’ Lace Cardigan. It’s an easy pattern, but oh, the cotton is hard on one’s hands.

But I really want to cast on for Wing o’ the Moth, yarn for which I finally found at Seaport Yarn. It’s called Whisper, and it’s from Aurora Yarn in Moss Beach, California, which, if you know your SmartyMags geography, is just a few miles south of the old homestead. Crazy small world!

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Sydney Day 1

Oh yeah, there was that trip.

We flew from San Francisco to Aukland, New Zealand, arriving about 530am. Then to Sydney, arriving about 10am. So, on very little sleep, we headed out to see the sights.

Fountain

This lovely fountain was just up the street from our hotel in King’s Cross. I can’t believe Buffalo isn’t one of the signs.

water.jpg

And we headed off, promptly in the wrong direction, on a quest for the Opera House. It was all that harbor coastline (15 miles) that threw me off.

On the way there were Ugly Birds:

bird

There were ginourmous chess games in Hyde Park:

chess

There was the Harbor Bridge:

harbor bridge

Really, Sydney seems to have two things going for it, the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. So, tick one of the list. Kind of an overcast day, as you can see.

Finally, the object of our Quest:

Opera House

Almost a wee bit disappointing. It seemed sort of … dirty. And I thought it was covered with some protective netting, but that’s actually the design.

So we tramped through the Botanical Gardens, which are really nice, and packed with exciting birds (exciting bird = not sparrow).

There were the elusive Milkshake Drinking Birds:

Milkshake Bird

There were Baby Milkshake Birds, with Really Big Feet:

Baby Bird

We saw nests chock full of Ugly Birds. Really, the ugly birds were everywhere in the city.

nests of ugly birds

We looked up and there were super colorful parrots:
Parrot

Edited to add: Holy cow it’s snowing sideways and the cat is outside. Blogging is a timesuck.

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