1. Lunch yesterday: 1 word - Sucked. The Petroleum Club was nice, in a stuffy, men's-club sort of way. NOT as elegant as Ms boss led us to believe (IMO, of course!). I left my cell phone at the office, but Ms boss's daughter brought hers - she should be sending us the pictures she took (yes, she's that "touristy". :lol:) The food, on the other hand......:ick: The menu was very limited - mostly unkosher foods. I had 2 choices (well, 3 if you count the hamburger..but Ms boss would have hit the ceiling if I had ordered *that*): Almond-crusted Rainbow Trout, or Chicken Under a Brick. (Seriously.) I was afraid the Trout would still have it's head...so I chose the Chicken.
The description: 1/2 organic. Pan-seared. Served with cous-cous and argula salad. (I wanted to know what the other 1/2 was, but was afraid the waiter wouldn't get it. :sigh:) It was...OK. Chicken under a brick. They de-boned and FLATTENED it, then seared the shit out of it. It was bland, and dry, and kinda tough. The cous-cous was dry and over-seasoned. The salad.....:ugh: Limp vegetation, horrible dressing...the best part of the meal was the sourdough roll I had as an appetizer. Seriously - VERY disappointing. (Coworker's Short Ribs were overdone; her salad sucked, too, and the potatoes had no flavor. Mrs. boss's Crab Cakes with Eggs - the eggs were fine, but the crab cakes were dry and not very good, according to her. Only, "the Club is Fabulous! I LOVE going there - the food is always so good". Whatever.)
We went on a "tour" after....whoopie. Not impressed. Our Financial Advisor *fell into* the water feature (got his shoe wet....it was too, too funny!). The Trammel Crow building down the street has a better art collection and water feature, IMO - AND it's free to the public. This one, not so much.
2. Sock yarn: Yes, I bought 7 pairs worth of the "good" stuff. Here's the thing - you can knit decent stuff with crap yarn - but it'll still be crap underneath. I've tried that - acrylic yarn used to be all I would buy, because it was cheap. I learned - acrylic is HORRIBLE for clothing - it doesn't breathe, so your body drowns in sweat and becomes clammy. It doesn't keep you as warm as wool, AND it's flammable. I switched to wool....Knitpicks has cheap wool. I buy a lot there - and I still buy Wool-Ease every now and then.
BUT....socks. I've done cheap sock yarn (JL's yarns are the latest....). The cost of the yarn is the least part of a project - you have to calculate your time, too, AND the life of the finished object. JL's yarn knits up like Lorna's Laces (JL = $6.50/pair; LL = $21.00/pair) but it DOES NOT LAST. Sweet Geek's pair of JL's have been darned twice so far - and they're not a year old yet (and need to be darned again.) His pair of LL's is still going strong. My pair of JL's went thru the dryer and SHRANK - LL's yarn has traveled thru numerous times (I now block and air-dry all our socks, thanks to JL's yarn; previously I would toss them all in the dryer without any fear), and is still going strong (my oldest pair of LL's socks are....6 years old, now. NO wear showing, NO darning.....I love that yarn!)
I did a lot of thinking before heading to Simply Sock Yarns. I decided that, this time, I was gonna splurge and try all the yarns I'd been hearing about but never could justify buying. Once I figure out what I like....well, there's always eBay and Ravelry to try and find cheaper prices. :lol: (So far, LL's is cheaper at DBNY. Simply Socks has it for...$10.75/skein, I think - which is still a good price! DBNY is cheaper for the Indie Dyers, though. In case you wanted to, y'know, look or something. :lol:) Most of the yarns I bought were in the "normal" range - $20 or less/pair. I did splurge for 2 pairs of socks, though (I believe in honesty and transparency. I do NOT spend this kind of money all at once often!) - I....:deep breath: spent $30/pair :gulp: for Cashmere Blend socks.
I figured, this is *research*. We have Cashmere goats. I need to know how Cashmere will wear in socks. :nods: No sense in spending hours harvesting the fiber, cleaning it, blending it (I have merino in the stash, and can get silk pretty easily. I can custom-blend this myself, AND dye it up in MY colors. Since I have a PG drumcarder, I'm all set) - however, if it's not gonna hold up to normal wear, I don't need to spend the time spinning sock yarn from it - I can do scarves/hats with it instead (find the best use for the fiber. Don't waste it on something it's not suited for!) $30 now and a week or so of knitting might save me months down the road. (And I'm still blinking at the price. There could be a market for a handspun version - IF it works.)
KnitPicks has Palette yarn that is sock weight, for $1.99/ball. I haven't made socks out of it...but it's what I'm using in my chullo. I have my doubts about it's longevity as socks - it's very loosely spun, it splits, and..it just doesn't "feel" like a sock yarn. If I have enough left from my hat, I'll make a pair....but....$4.00 and a month or so of my time for short-lived socks just doesn't make sense. (to ME, anyway.)
3. Bonus: Got it, and have already spent it. It ALL went to property taxes - the taxes on the "farm" are double the taxes on Sweet Geek's house. :sigh: He's going to the Tax Appraiser in the next week or so (hopefully, anyway) to see about getting an Ag Exemption, now that we have goats. The horses won't do it - here in Texas (in my area, anyway) Horses are NOT considered Livestock, they're pets/hobbies. :snerk: MINE are lawn ornaments/grass maggots/hay burners...so I sorta see their point....but they are STILL livestock. :mutters:
I had been told you have to have at least 10 acres to get an Ag Exemption...but the friend we got our goats from only has 8, and They have their property exempted. (Same county; she only lives about 8 miles or so from us. Same Appraisal district..so....won't hurt to try!) She said she can't remember what all they had to do, but it boiled down to "proving" that the goats/sheep were for their food purposes (the wool didn't count - I don't know why). Since our goats are for Dairy use, this should make things easier...it would cut our property taxes to at LEAST half of what we're paying now (for the record: $3,200 this year. Up $150 from last year. Yeah......and since I have a *construction* loan, and not a mortgage, there's no escrow. Which is good, in that my house payment will NOT go up - it's fixed. It's bad in that *I* have to come up with the property taxes every year. :sigh: We had it in savings this year, but had major problems and the money got spent. We're putting double back in '10 from the IRS refund, to try and head this off next year. :bigger sigh:)
Work: This is our last week of the year. :huzzah: Friday is our official Last Day - I have to come in Monday for a few hours to do the Financial Advisor's work. No biggie - I don't mind, and it may come in handy later, when Mrs. boss decides she really does hate me. :shrug: I plan on getting a LOT of things done while I'm off - I have a Hannukah runner to weave (too late for this year...:oops:) and a set of placemats; I have numerous socks to crank out on the CSM, and I have Sweet Geek's Never-Ending Aran Cardigan to work on. The back is done, and half the right front. :sigh: Lovely man, but he has a 50-inch chest. That's a LOT of knitting. I'd like to try and set up the knitting machine he got me last year....that would help in the sweater-making department (not this one, since it's all-over cables, but for the kids and me. And plain ones for him.). 2 weeks..might not be enough time.
Enough babbling - have a great day!