Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Runner 5

I'm having an incredible amount of fun!

But first a little back story;

My work is doing a restructure from two paychecks a month to paying every other Friday.

I am not happy about this. Nobody is happy about this. Not only is it a 12% monthly pay cut that could be in my account now instead of waiting for July with the "extra" paycheck. Not only that, and that is enough, but not only that, this January the first pay check is for 6 days and the next one is for 10. I'm being paid for 16 days, and not 21, at at a 12% decrease. Not happy is too mild a term for what I am feeling about this.

So this January I'm laying siege. I'm not going anyplace, I'm not buying anything, I'm eating down everything in my freezer and cupboard to put off grocery shopping as long as possible. 19 days in and the only thing I've bought this month is cat food. Cat food and Zombies, RUN!

Zombies, RUN! is a running app that interrupts your music playlist with an audio story of a zombie invasion. It gives missions to follow complete with the zombie horde breathing down your neck. As a non runner I went with the couch to K5 version. I'm new to my phone and after two hours of trying to make it talk to my computer I gave up and purchased a few songs to build a playlist. I chose a handful of songs on theme, songs like Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees and Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It all came in costing less a fast food meal.

And it is FUN. Amazing stupid fun. The most fun is the intro that comes from the regular version so I can't wait to graduate from K5 running camp and upgrade. Finn and I have been out "running" in the snow and in freezing weather. On days we would have done nothing we are out and having a blast. (I say "running" because Week 1 has a few 15 second busts and all the rest is walking.)

One week down and seven more to go. As soon as I finish my coffee with cinnamon and brown sugar (I'm out of cream, milk, and white sugar but turns out this coffee combination is a treat) Finn and I will hit the streets for today's training run.
Nothing to do with nothing; but we see so many dead squirrels smooshed flat on the sidewalks. Instead of posting photos of them I will be delicate and post one of Finn's favorite toys instead. A  replacement since I won't let him bring one of the real flat squirrels home. He tries. Oh, he tries. But so far I'm still winning the battle.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Out with the Old and in with the New

My phone.

This has been my phone for over nine years. I didn't start out with plans of not upgrading but it worked fine and I was keeping my expenses to a minimum and time slipped away.

Then about three years ago it became A THING at work. People would walk past my desk and go "Oh. My. God. Is that a phone?"

They started checking up on me every week to see it I had updated it. They would stop in front of my desk, pull out their phone, and make a lunch takeout order entering it on the touch screen. I got to say, I enjoyed the attention and the monthly rate couldn't be beat, so I made the pact to keep it until it died.

It died. So dead.

Finn saw to that and one last time it was the center of attention when everyone was called over at the Sprint store to look at the damage done. His teeth pierced the glass screen and the metal casing. It's mostly dented but in spots they went clear though.

My new phone doesn't even have buttons. The GPS driving directions are cool but they drop me off at the wrong place about as often I get myself lost, which is embarrassingly often. It does some other things very well. It excels as a walking buddy playing my favorite podcasts. The camera is pretty neat too, but really, the playing to podcasts is the best part.

It doesn't end there.

My favorite sweater for the past seven years and Suni-e chewed some holes in it. Bad Cat.

I had planned to repair it but I also started knitting a replacement because it fits perfectly. Once I realized the new sweater was just a darker shade of the old I decided it was too similar to have both in my wardrobe. I still have the old one but it's on it's way out.

The sweater is Cobblestone by Jared Flood. 

The pattern is wonderful! There is shaping to raise the back of the neck and lower the front so I don't have the choking feeling. And the neck opening is a trim neck sized instead of the huge flash-dance-falling-off-the-shoulders look that has been the thing in knitting patterns the last few years. Sadly, the look isn't intentional but there are just too many neck stitches.  

I took the techniques and applied them to another sweater. I started out following the Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters but changed everything to the point it's my own design. 

I have so many ideas for the next sweater. I foresee many more original sweaters this year.