I'm watching you. Yes, you.

So I happen to be a bit of a stationery geek. Pens, papers, stamps, cards, stickers… The list goes on. I’m a huge fan of the dip pens, y’know, quill and ink style? I’ve got a beautiful pen holder with a glass inkwell, and I keep a nice blue feather quill pen in it. Ravenclaw, represent!

Anyway, when I received the pen/inkwell holder, I was working with the inkwell and without much provocation, the lid snapped off the hinge. I was devastated, as it was only the first day I’d had it. So I did what any respectable online shopper does: I wrote a review. I kept it short and light; I loved the product, but it had broken & I was disappointed. That’s all, I didn’t expect anything, I had done it to myself.

The next day, I receive an email from the company: We’re sorry, we’re sending you a replacement. I was thrilled!! That’s true customer service. Reading and responding to your customers, in any way you feel necessary. Even if it’s just, “hey, sorry about that, here’s like 45% off your next buy!”

The company’s called Nostalgic Impressions, and I suggest you visit them for any fancy stationery products you may want.

A New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!

This year’s been pretty epic, and sometimes not the best, but for the most part it’s been pretty decent. We’ve almost completed unpacking from our move in the summer. We’ve got a wonderful home, and plenty of room to stretch out & do our own things when we want to. We’re both healthy (for the most part) and we both have paying jobs. We make our bills on time & still have enough leftover to do things we enjoy.

I’m pretty pleased with my life right now. As always, a few bits and pieces I’d like to adjust for the better, but those are slow and steady things that need to be worked out slowly, not shot from the hip.

I’m fine taking my time.

My Post Pub-Crawl Day

1 – Breakfast at 2:45am after leaving the other pub crawlers

2 – Slept from 3:30 am to noon

3 – Coffee with cocoa powder

4 – Chipotle for lunch at 3 pm

5 – Video called my dad to wish him happy Father’s Day

6 – Rice cakes and vanilla chai while playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf with friends

7 – Contemplating bed at 9 pm

Today’s been…a day.

I’m nothing if not exactly that. Helps if one can remember her passwords.

So TweetDeck doesn’t support Facebook integration, & I’m pissed that I can no longer post to both Twitter & Facebook simultaneously. It means I have to pretty much dump TweetDeck and find another desktop FB/T program. 

Any suggestions are appreciated.

~Jett

I was quite surprised to hear that Expendables 2 was to be released, I had thought for certain the first film hadn’t had enough draw to warrant a second. But there was the announcement, so I waited & when I saw the previews and trailers I was genuinely excited.

It has pretty much every action star you can think of. Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren. Even Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme were unpacked from their mothballed storage lockers and strapped in for an adrenaline ride.

One surprise was Liam Hemsworth, who I originally thought was Chris Hemsworth, his brother. Both extremely attractive, they definitely could write themselves off as twins.

The film leads in with a bang, lots of blood spilled, sprayed, and flung around. This time they (the team in the film, not the film itself) seemed to have more funding or whatever, with siege toys and all sorts of fancy equipment to get them into and out of sticky spots. The action only lulled for a short time, at which I had to leave for the restroom or struggle through the remainder of the film. I got back just before a new action scene started up, so I guess I have decent timing.

When I went to see it, I went alone on a Tuesday morning. The first viewing of the day, and I was in a theater with three other men. I was severely disappointed when I realized I was the only one laughing out loud to the jokes and quips the actors threw around that were reminiscent of their film careers past. I was happy to see that Chuck Norris actually told his own Chuck Norris joke.

I was sitting in the theater for the longest time trying to puzzle through who the bad guy was. He had a very odd accent, and I could swear I should know who this person was. Finally I realized it was Van Damme!! Once I finally figured out that Van Damme was the villain, I was amused to learn that his character’s name is Vilain. Pronounced vill-ayne, but still. Vilain. Somebody was at a loss for character names.

Fun fact: Norris hadn’t been in any films since 2005. He’s going to be in a film directed by his youngest brother to be released summer of next year.

While I had it in my head that Van Damme hasn’t been in anything since Street Fighter in 1995, he’s actually been steadily busy in various things that don’t make much publicity. He’s got a Universal Soldier series that will have its fourth installment released in November of this year.

Funny side story: one of the movie patrons brought in a half-gallon of milk, and something else he was eating. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I guess he had missed breakfast.

Back After A Year

Ta-da!

It’s actually been over a year since I’ve written anything in this blog.

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything interesting to write about – on the contrary, lots of stuff’s happened.

  • July 2011, I lost my job.
  • November 2011, Thanksgiving.
  • December 2011, Christmas.
  • January 2012, New Years’.
  • February 2012, My birthday, my boyfriend’s birthday. He turned 30, I turned 29.
  • March 2012, I got a new job.
  • April 2012, I had my 2012 Ford Focus for a year. We filmed the second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences book trailer.
  • May 2012, Balticon.
  • June 2012, I was asked to join RavenCon’s staff as their Social Media person. My boyfriend’s sister-in-law had a super-girly baby shower.
  • July 2012, We went on vacation to the Outer Banks.

This month, there’s another larger, more co-ed baby party for my boyfriend’s brother and sister-in-law. I’ve only gotten one of the four knitting projects completed that I wanted to give them, and I really have no excuse. I just haven’t been knitting. Knitting’s become a little more painful than I’d like it to be, particularly in my shoulders. I’ll just have to deal, if I want to finish anything else for the baby.

Maybe I can start writing more frequently. We’ll see.

~Jett

When one decides that an object or piece of equipment that is desirable for a task or hobby is just far too expensive to purchase from a merchant, one has a few options. They can forgo the purchase, & muddle through their task or hobby without it, or they can resort to more constructive means, and create the object or equipment themselves. This is the road seemingly less traveled, and the road I took this weekend.

I started learning to knit at the beginning of March this year. It turned out that I enjoy knitting quite a lot, and managed to finish an 8 foot long scarf after a month and a half of work. Since then, I’ve begun “stashing” – storing yarn of various color & texture for projects that I have in mind, and started several shawls and a knit bag. In the short months I’ve been learning this craft, I’ve purchased an electric yarn winder, which will turn loosely wound balls or skeins into tighter center-pulled balls I can stack & store without them rolling around like mad.

The winder itself is a great tool, but I found that often I will get almost to the end of a skein, and manage to get the last few yards into a tangled mess. To solve this problem, most knitters use a yarn swift to hold the skien and wind it with their winder. Imagine a merry-go-round for a loop of yarn. The problem is that most yarn swifts are upwards of sixty to seventy dollars, plus shipping. I have yet to find a craft store that sells the yarn swifts in any shape. My solution – I’ll make it my damn self.

So, making a list and checking it twice, I made my way to the Home Depot. While being asked at almost every aisle “Do you need help?” or “Can I help you find anything?”, I managed to find everything I needed. I’ll put a list of everything I got at the end, just so you don’t have to wade through it here. The construction was fairly simple, and it was my first time using a hand saw at all and a power drill for something more than putting a screw into the wall. The main construction took only an hour or so, and I got my boyfriend to be my extra set of hands while I was sawing and using the drill.

The finishing touches I completed today, which included putting little plastic feet on the base, to lift it up high enough so the bolt under the base doesn’t make the whole thing rock, sanding it all down, and fitting more pegs for the swift arms. I have 8 total, so I have extras if they get lost or broken.

The first test run I recorded video of, and it can be found on my Facebook page or YouTube. I had to stop recording after a bit, because it turns out I had one of the arms on wrong, and it snapped a bit. Okay, so it snapped completely. But I fixed it!! I pumped that break full of super glue and stuck that bad boy back together again!! So it’s fine now.

The thing is, I’m not sure I’m going to need all the length the arms of the swift have. But I’m going to leave it as it is now, to see if I ever use the pegs further out from the center, and if I don’t, I’ll hack the ends off and drill a few more holes further in on the arms. I do think I will keep the base the size it is, because I feel that the base should be larger than the arms are.

I’m really proud of my project. If anyone wants the instructions for how to make their own swift, I can write that in a separate post.

Anyway, here’s my list of what I used for the swift:

  • 7 foot length of 2×1″, cut into 2 3-foot lengths & 2 1/2-foot lengths
  • 2 lengths of 3/4″ square wood that were 3-foot each
  • 3 washers, 5/16″
  • a wing nut, 5/16″
  • a bolt, 5 inches long, 5/16″
  • a dowel rod, 5/16″ cut into 8 6-inch pieces
  • 4 little plastic nail-in chair feet
  • a metal bolt spacer, I’ve forgotten what it’s called
  • 4 small nails
  • a 5/16″ drill bit
  • a hand saw & miter box kit
  • a rasp/file
  • a couple of sanding blocks

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