Posted in Current Projects

Dish Rag Tag, DVRs, the Outdoorsl, Yarn and a Sweater

First things first. I inteded to post this about the Dish Rag Tag last week, but forgot. So here’s the update about that first:

Last Monday (10/6) I received the Dish Rag Tag box. In the morning I checked the Delivery Confirmation Number on the USPS website to see where the box might be. The status was “Delivered at 3:45 am.” It was 9 am when I checked the USPS website, so I went and looked outside the door. No package. I figured that it was out for delivery rather than delivered anyhow, but no harm in checking! I knew it was going to show up sometime, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I went and had lunch with Matt and when I came home I found it sitting right outside the door waiting for me. I was excited to get it open and start the dish rag, but I was able to snap a quick shot with my cell phone before tearing into it:

Box Received

Here’s what I received in the box:

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Here’s the box all ready for a trip to the Post Office:

Box Mailed

I didn’t get any sort of decent photo of what I sent. I only had two photos on my camera phone that I took and they both were very blurry! The box is now on it’s way to Emily and I’ve been checking her blog regularly to see if it’s arrived yet.

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When I met Matt, he already had a DVR that he’d built himself. I never realized how convienent a DVR could be, since I never had any interaction with one before we met, but I totally love having one. We don’t watch TV regularly and prefer to watch it when it’s convenient for us, so having a DVR is absolutely fantastic. We also don’t have cable, but do have an antenna that gets more than enough stations with things we like to watch. The plus of having a DVR is not being tied to the TV schedule so that you don’t miss your favorite shows or get behind on them. Lately, though we were getting some really crap recordings of some of the shows we watch most often. Something needed to be done since not all the shows we watch are available to watch online. We finally narrowed down the problem to one TV tuner card that kept having shows with anomalies in them (weren’t even watchable).

We discussed the possibility of totally replacing everything in the DVR, but the cost was more than we are willing to spend right now, especially with vacation coming up the first week of November. Instead we agreed to some minor upgrades that are more reasonable right now: a new hard drive and new TV tuner cards. So, this past weekend Matt and I did some upgrading of the DVR. We went to Micro Center and purchased a Western Digital Green 1 TB hard drive and an HD HomeRun TV tuner. I think both of those things are really cool. The hard drive because it saves power and is more efficient and the HD HomeRun gives you a lot of options for how you have your DVR set up (great for future use when we can do the rest of the upgrades we’d like to do). Here’s a review that gives a little more detail on how it works (and here’s their website). SO.COOL.

Anyhow, the DVR already had three hard drive and three TV tuners in it. Hard drives: 500 GB, 350 GB, and 200 GB. Two of the TV tuners are Hauppauge and the other is KWorld. The first thing we did was move the shows on the 500 GB hard drive to one of the smaller ones. This was done because one of the smaller hard drives had the operating system on it and we planned on keeping the 500 GB hard drive in the DVR along with the new 1 TB hard drive we purchased, but the shows needed to be moved off of it so we could put Windows XP on it (two hard drives with no OS is not going to work!). After that was done, the DVR was taken apart, one of the TV tuners moved (the KWorld one), dust was cleaned out, the two smaller hard drives removed and the new hard drive put in. The HD HomeRun was easy to install and since it is a separate box, it’s hooked up externally (nothing needed to be done to the inside). Next came the hard part: getting it back up and running again! We ran into some issues, most of which seem to be video card related, but it took a lot of testing and tweaking to narrow it down to that. We haven’t figured out a solution for that just yet (other than buying a new one). The issue only seems to pop up when we try to “ask” too much of the computer or if it has to be restarted. The hardware part was easy, but the troubleshooting part was frustrating!
Everything seems to be working smoothly so far, but we’ll see how it goes in the coming weeks. I didn’t actually DO a lot in terms of putting it together or anything, I did LEARN a lot. DVRs are, in my opinion, quite easy to build and really handy to have!

On Monday we went to Sharon Woods just to get outside the house since we spent most of the weekend inside. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did take some pictures with my camera phone that came out pretty decent.

Trail

Stairs

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Leaves Changing

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The Photographer

When we came back home after the outing to the park, there were two packages waiting. One for me and one for us. The first thing that was opened was the package delivered by DHL addressed to me. To explain, Antonio from Malabrigo Ravel-messaged me asking for my address because he wanted to send me Malabrigo lace yarn in natural for free. I could only guess this was because I’d posted on Ravelry in the Small Bob group (cute little crocheted Bob dog) about not being able to find it and having to order from two online shops. At first I was a little wary to be giving my address to someone I didn’t know, but after looking at his profile and seeing him quite a bit on the Malabrigo website, I decided to give him my address. After a few days I forgot about it, but about a week later a package arrives address to me sent from Uruguay – from Antonio!! I was so happy to see the package and when I opened it I found 5 skeins of Malabrigo Lace yarn in Natural AND a skein of their new superwash sock yarn!! WOW!! I immediately sent Antonio a thank you note on Ravelry and just feel like I can’t say thank you enough. It totally made my day.

Malabrigo Lace and Sock Yarn

The other thing that came in the mail for both of us was the Radio Bookmarks from NPR. Matt had surprised me by doing a donation to NPR in an amount enough to get two Radio Bookmarks – one for each of us. The funny part was that I was thinking about doing the SAME THING the exact SAME DAY! What I didn’t know was that he got mine with PINK buttons!! Love ❤

Radio Bookmark

Over the weekend while Matt was troubleshooting the DVR issues, I knit. I started a sweater and have made a fair amount of progress. I decided to do the Green Gable sweater from the Fall 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting with Caron Simply Soft. The yarn called for in the pattern is Wool Ease Thick & Quick, which is 80% acrylic, so I figured what difference with 20% wool make anyhow? Plus, I had three skeins of Caron Simply Soft in my stash that had no purpose and had the needles called for. It was a match all the way! I am really loving the pattern and how it’s coming out so far. Here’s the picture I took last night of my progress which has about a third of the body knit:

Sweater Progress

After knit night tonight, I have about half of a chart repeat to go to be done with the body. I’m making it a little longer than called for because I was a bit over a half of an inch off which I think would have made it too short in length. I think I’d much prefer a sweater that’s a little too long than one that’s too short! I haven’t been knitting or crocheting anything else besides that since I started it Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be done before knit night next week!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Work-in-progress Found and Photo Hosting

I was going through my stash and I found something:

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It’s the Icarus Shawl that I started sometime last year. I forgot all about it! I even found the pattern, noting where I left of (well, sort of – still have a little figuring out to do). I’ve got a lot of WIPs right now. Only one is on a deadline and the rest will be done whenever they get done. I’m done with the first chart of the Mystery Stole, but not with the first clue. Looks like I’m a little behind, but I’m not too concerned – I’d much rather enjoy it, than rush through it.

On another note….

Anyone use Flickr much? I have a basic account so I can use it in conjunction to Ravelry and I’ve thought about using it over Photobucket, just so everything is in one place. A long time ago, I went with Photobucket’s upgrade option and I have been using it ever since. I still don’t care much for Flickr and since I compose all my posts in html, I like to have the direct link to the photo I’m using. Photobucket provides this, so there is very little work on my part. With Flickr, it’s more difficult or I am lame and can’t figure it out – I will never claim to be a pro at computer and internet type things, I know what I need to know to do what I want to do. I know I can upload them directly to TypePad (my current blog host) or even with Blogger, but I’ve never liked to do that. It’s been my experience that it’s more pain than it’s worth.

At any rate, Flickr only allows you to see the 200 most recent photos that you’ve uploaded. While it still lets you keep the ones you’ve linked visible, you don’t have access to them any longer. At first this made me really mad because I’d have to pay $25 for an upgrade to Pro to access those photos in my album. I think for now, I’ll skip it since Ravelry still lets the photos show even though I can’t link to them any longer if I create a new project or anything like that. If there comes a time where I need to do anything like that, then I’ll consider it, but I’m kind of miffed that they don’t allow you to see more than 200 photos that you’ve uploaded. Kind of a small amount, if you ask me. I have let my upgraded Photobucket account expire and I still have access to EVERY photo I’ve uploaded, which is well over 200… I’d even guess well over 1,000 (maybe even 2,000?).

Does anyone use Flickr Pro? Is it worth the money?