TOO MANY HOBBIES

I Know How to Hit Her Where It Hurts

I have written here before about the human female’s big, stupid embroidery project, how she took a couple of years to chart out this rug…

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..stitch by stitch so she could do it in cross-stitch.

You may recall that I’ve thwarted her every effort.  I made the charting software not run properly on her new computer.  I made it beyond difficult to get the program to spit out a readable chart.  Or a readable key.  I hid a few of the skeins of thread she needed.  I turned her chart-marking highlighters into “gel” highlighters, which are like smelly crayons.  In short, I’ve worked to deprive her of any and all enjoyment of this project.

She thinks she finally has me licked.  She remembered to wash the embroidery fabric so it won’t run.  She figured out work-arounds for the chart and key issues.  She found other highlighters.  She assembled all the one hundred and ninety-eight colors of thread.

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With which Sigyn is more than a little enamored.

She has located the center of the design.  She has figured out how to see the holes on this black fabric and taken her first few tiny stitches.

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Nooo!  I can’t have her actually enjoying the fruits of her labors!  I know!   I’ll distract her so she has to pick out a dozen stitches.  Boom!  Done.

And here we are.  Sigyn is checking the work.  Do we have good thread coverage?

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Are the colors pleasing?  Are the stitches tight enough?  Too tight?

Everything good? Yes?  Spendid!  That will make it much more dramatic when I give the human female a sore shoulder and arm and a recurrence of her chronic illness.  She’s had to put it aside.

Face it, female. This is as far as you’re going to get for a while.

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Enjoy your eighty mocking little stitches.

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Previously Uncharted Levels of Mischief, Part III: Persistence is Key

Now that the human female has her Thor-sized needlework chart all figured out, she has to print out the key, the legend that will map the symbols to colors of thread when she is stitching.  Actually, there are five keys, one for each of the component files.  Each key on the computer has the symbols in the order she chose them, but it sure would be useful to list the one hundred and ninety-eight total colors of thread numerically.  Perhaps she can get the computer to sort it.

Perhaps I have had a bit to say on how her software works.  Unsorted they remain.

“Aha!”  She is now thinking to herself.  “I can construct a spreadsheet, copy the little icons into the first column and the numbers and names into a second column, and then sort that.”

“Oho!” I answer.  And just what made you think Excel would let you select the column with the little images?”

Ehehehe!  Now she is toying with the idea of printing out the key, cutting it into strips, and then reassembling the strips.  That might work.  First, she needs a printout.

The keys are nice and legible on the computer.  Let us see what a printout looks like.

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Ah, pale and illegible, just the way I like it.

Rats! She has merely taken pen in fist and hand-darkened the symbols.  I shall have to figure out some other form of torment.

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Hobby Hijinks, Part IV: More Beeeads! (Sigyn Speaks)

Loki is off doing something with ants, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at some of the human female’s other new beads.  There are some she’s pretty excited about.

Oooh!  These are pretty!  Maroon with little golden squiggles.

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They look as if they’d taste of cranberry, don’t they?

Oh, oh, OH!  Look at these!!!

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Red flowers!  I didn’t know they made flower-shaped beads!   Hee hee hee!  I could wear them like a lei!

Ooo!  More flowers.  These are bigger and marbledy-pink-transparent.

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More flowers!  I think the blue ones may be prettiest of all!

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Eeeee!  green leafy beads!  I hope she has some left over from whatever it is she’s planning to make, because I can think of some things I’d like to use them for.

Sigyn! Are you all right?!  What’s wrong?  I could hear you shrieking from the other side of the house!”

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“Oh.  That was happy-squealing, not the-human-female-has-cut-off-another-digit squealing.”

“Sigh.  Carry on.”

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Hobby Hijinks, Part III: Mischief That’s Off the Charts

Another of the human female’s hobbies is needlework.  She didn’t do much last year and was hoping to do a lot this year, but then the THUMB happened, and everything’s on hold.  Still she’s been very busy, charting a design she wants to cross stitch.  This is the design–a rug from Portugal.

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So she’s been carefully studying closeup photos of the thing, painstakingly transcribing it onto graph paper.

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She has to label each page with its adjacent pages and make little red registration marks for lining them up. It’s going to take over 100 colors of floss–and how many pages of chart so far, Sigyn?

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Seventy-one?  She’ll die of old age before she finishes it.

Especially since I’ve convinced the Terror Twins that graph paper is a tasty feline treat!

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She is putting all the graph paper charting into a computer program—which I’ve finagled so that it only runs on her old computer, the one with imminent hinge-failure.   Since the program allows only 100 colors in any one design, she’s had to split the fool thing into five files which will need to be jigsawed back together after printout.  If anything happens to those computer files and their backups, it’s a couple years’ work–poof! down the drain.  She’s very near finishing.  It would be terrible if anything happened to it…

Lenny!  Fancy meeting you here!  I innocently had no idea you’d be coming by today.  But as long as you’re in the neighborhood, I have a little job for you…

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(rub, rub, rub…)

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I knew I liked this guy!

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Hobby Hijinks, Part II: About a Billion Beads

I’m continuing to devote my efforts this week to thwarting the human female’s attempts to enjoy her hobbies.  It’s going well so far:  Her mangled thumb is still rather useless, and it is still far too wet outside for enjoyable gardening.  The weeds are happy, of course, but all of her purpose-planted vegetation is looking distinctly underwhelmed.  (Just because we received an extra 13″ of rain last year and nothing has dried out since September…)

Today I am turning my attention to her love of beads.  She has a real passion for the “tiny shinies.”

Looks like a recent order or two arrived today.  Small, plump, rattly envelopes are always exciting.  (I think they’re funniest when they contain baby rattlesnakes, but I can work with beads.)

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I’m sensing a theme here.  Blue, blue, and more blue.

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I must examine them carefully and see if my magic worked.

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Just as I planned! The human female ordered them online, only to find upon their arrival that she already has two of these.

Oh–it appears she ordered some “findings” as well.  It tickles me no end that they call them that.  It is certainly wishful thinking on the human female’s part, as I will see to it that the first thing all these tiny bits of metal will do is lose themselves in her bead box.

Augh!  She’s got churchy bits in there!   Have a look through them if you like, Sigyn, but you know I don’t “do” that sort of thing.

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I’m out of here.

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Hobby Hijinks, Part I: Messing with the Mail

Everybody ought to have a hobby.  Sigyn collects glass paperweights and keeps trying to learn to knit.

My hobby is meddling with the human female’s hobbies.

For instance, she and the human male love to travel.  They spend hours, sometimes, planning trips they may never take.  Do that often enough online, express even one iota of interest in a tour company’s offerings, and you’re on their mailing list forever.  I’ve seen to it that the humans are inundated daily with email and web-based ads for cruises, tours, and flights.  (My best work is that one offer that promises $400 airfare to London.  It sounds fantastic, but you only get that price if you fly through Istanbul and take a 24-hour layover.  Ehehehehe.)

Sometimes I have snail mail show up at the house, too.   Thanks to some careful rerouting, this brochure, however, looks as if it has tangled with something a bit more vicious than a snail.

Wolverine, maybe.

Behold the cover!

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That is a first-class dog-ear, right there!  Someone took pains with that.

There has also been a “helpful” application of tape to the poor, shredded cover.

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More down here on the bottom.

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By the Bifrost!  Look at these interior pages!

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Tsk, tsk, tsk.  (Ehehehehehe)

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The back cover has fared no better.  Though the actual cruise line is probably more careful than our ham-handed postal person–and the ships are no doubt more sturdy than this sad catalog– this whole shreddy mess has rather tainted the idea of a European river cruise.

Into the recycle barrel it goes!

Along with the human female’s dreams of cruising down the Danube…

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Getting Sucked Into Another Hobby, Part I: La Plume de Ma Tante

I have mentioned before that the human male and his friends are fountain-pen aficionados, and that the human female is no longer allowed to play with them.  You’d think she’d realize that she already suffers from S.A.B.L.E.  (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) and does not need another hobby, no matter how she longs to find that elusive “perfect pen.”  Mostly, I think she just wants to play with unusual colors of ink.

Still, she and the human male, during a recent mild illness, were too floppy and pathetic to accomplish anything useful, so they amused their coughing, sneezy selves by trying to find some combination that results in pleasant writing for her and not in tears and puddles.

It’s not as if the human male doesn’t have a lot of pens for her to try.

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Piston-fill or cartridge?  Maybe converter?  Steel nib or gold?  Demonstrator or opaque barrel?  Pelican?  Pilot?  Noodler’s?  TWSBI?  So many choices!  Then there are the nibs–broad, medium, fine, very fine, ultra very fine… And weird ones like music nibs and stubs.  Auugh!  Too many choices!

The human female, I must admit, actually has rather nice handwriting, when she tries.  She probably needs at least a fine nib.  I have done a little reading and have convinced her that she probably wants either a Japanese posting nib or a Japanese flex nib like the Namiki Falcon for doing some fancy things.  It goes without saying that posting nibs are very hard to find in this part of Midgard, and the custom-ground Falcons are in the price range that would have her looking to sell a body part.  I could have steered her toward something obtainable and  inexpensive, but where’s the fun in that?

Sigyn, how about you?  As long as we are talking pens, what would you like?

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Red.  Sigyn just wants red.

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