April 7th, 2006

misc: Clue X 4

Can you say incompetence?

I thought you could! *sigh*

OK, so when last we left our heroine, she was fighting with the evil bank over a fraudulent charge of $15.99. She was at the end of her rope, and had decided it really wasn't worth the time or effort to argue any more, when - surprise! - the bank credited the money back into her account. All was well with the world...

Until yesterday. About a week ago, our heroine wrote a check to pay for her beloved tractor. It's the same amount every month - $270.94. It never changes...so imagine her surprise when she checked her bank account and discovered a check (with the number of the check she wrote to the Tractor company) had cleared her account for $490.72. WTF??? (In case you can't see it - they input it completely backwards. Go on - stare at the 2 numbers for a minute. See it? Good - you're a quicker study than the bank reps are!) The image of the check wasn't online yet....but she didn't care. This problem MUST be fixed, immediately if not sooner!

So, she called the bank's 1-800 #. The male on the other end said, "well, sorry - but the check hasn't been scanned in yet, so call back tomorrow." Yeah. OK. You'd better be ready, dude - I am angry here!

She called back this morning, ready to do battle. The female on the other end said, (after about 5 minutes of the heroine explaining, and her saying, "I don't get it", our heroine gnashing her teeth and explaining AGAIN in words of 1 syllable or less, spoken thru clinched teeth) "whoops. Oh, NOW I see it! Well, *WE* didn't make that mistake - the other bank did, and we took their word for it." clickety-clackety. "OK, I made a request for an instant credit of $199.78. It'll show up immediately! Oh, and would you like to open a savings account with us today?" The heroine said NO, and hung up.

Then, she ran the figures herself. (You honestly didn't think this would be correct, did you?) Let's see...$490.72 LESS $270.94 = $219.78. WTF??????? *sigh*

She had her intrepid co-worker re-run the figures (just to be sure. I mean, her adding machine *might* have burped.....5 times in a row.). She then called the bank BACK.

The bank is now totally confused. Our heroine has spoken with 3 different folks, all of which have had their brains explode from the confusion. (Look, it's not that hard. Look at the check image - $270.94. Now look at the withdrawal - $490.72. Subtract the former from the latter. See, no confusion!)

The upshot: Person # 3 has submitted an URGENT request to the research department (the ones apparantly in charge of refunding me my own money) to fix the error made by their customer service rep. (She input the "correct" check amount as - get this - $290.94. *sigh* Supposedly, our heroine will be receiving a phone call from research telling her that the $20 (on top of the $199.78) has been put back into her account. (Where it never should have been taken out in the first place....)

The kicker???? Lady #3 told our heroine (and I am totally NOT MAKING THIS UP): "Thank you so much for catching that error for us! You have a nice day now!"

Like, the heroine wouldn't keep a close eye on her bank account? *blech*

And now, *MY* head is threatening to explode. At least I have finally found the perfect post for this icon!!
fiber: AA Scottish Wheel

Spinning Experiments: Dog Hair

So, I've been playing with the Pyr hair I was gifted at NTIF. It's....interesting.

The fiber is mostly clippings; the butt end is, in some cases, slightly matted. I don't know if it came off the donor dog(s) that way, or if it matted when the rescue person washed it. It is clean-ish (it would have come cleaner if the fiber had been picked before washing, but since *I* didn't have to do it, I won't complain), smells OK (not doggy), but, because it is from more than 1 dog, it's all over the place quality-wise. Most of the fiber is 3" or so in length; it consists of both the downy, soft undercoat and the longer, coarser guard hairs.

The first skein was done at NTIF. I handcarded bits of fiber (on my 1/2 size Louet cotton handcards), then spun the rolags long draw on my Norwegian (I don't know the bobbin whorl size, since I had to keep switching them out). The resulting 2-ply is disappointing - the singles are overspun in spots, slightly underspun in others. Plying fixed some of the problems, but not all. I attribute this to a)I was demo-ing, and not able to get in the groove while spinning, and b)I think my lovely Norwegian is slightly *too* fast for this fiber. Soon as I get my flyer array back from Alden, I'll test that, but for the moment I'm running with it.

I thought about flicking next. I don't think this is a good idea - the fiber flies *everywhere*, and I was afraid that flicking would simply make a huge mess. Plus, I can't get a good rhythm with flick carded fluff; I spin 1, then have to stop, grab another, attach it, and start up again. I prefer continuous spinning.

Combing is out, mainly because of all the various lengths involved. I really don't want to spin guard hair only yarn.

So, I sat down at the drumcarder. I carded enough fiber to make 1 nice batt, then I doffed it, split it down the center, and ran it through again. 2 passes made a nice prep; no neps, no noils, all the fiber was pretty much aligned, and most of the (very little) icky stuff fell right out. It did a good job blending the 2 coats (and various dogs, too, for that matter).

I set up my Scottish wheel with the jumbo flyer array - not for the size of the bobbins (which are HUGE) - because it has the slowest ratios of my AA wheels (my Ashford is still on walkabout, or I would have tried it next. My AA is really above this sort of thing, y'know? *g*) I don't have the whorl size in front of me for the ratios, but it's quite a bit slower than the Norwegian. I set it for the least amount of draw-in, attached a bit to the leader, and off I went.

I effortlessly spun a nice, lace-weightish single. Long draw, for the most part. The single is pretty consistent; there are a few places where the "2nd cuts" hang out, but not many (I would have to pick them out of the batt before spinning if I wanted perfectly even yarn - too much effort!). The guard hairs make a nice halo. The batt held together nicely, and spun pretty much effortlessly.

The fiber *does* shed, however. I'll need to wear an apron the next time I sit down to spin. It appears that only the guard hairs are shedding - but I didn't really take the time to scrutinize my clothes after I finished the batt. *g*

I'll probably sit down tonight and card up some more batts....spin them tomorrow or Sunday. It went pretty fast - I ran thru that batt in about 20 minutes or so. Besides, the faster I tear thru the Pyr fluff, the faster I can get to spinning the batts I got from moderngypsy off of her etsy site. *g*