Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:59 AM
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Two weeks ago I decided that owning two used cars didn’t make as much sense as passing down to #1 son a car that I knew was in good condition and had a long way to go and buying something new for myself. After looking at various options, I decided to look at the Toyota Prius, a mid-size hybrid sedan. Then I test drove one, and I was hooked. The waiting list, I was told, was between 3 and 10 months depending on how flexible I was willing to be regarding color and options. I was flexible as to color, but not options — I’ve always bought the lowest-priced of any car model and this time I wanted it fully loaded.

I got on the waiting list at three different Toyota dealers (those that didn’t charge over MSRP — Ron Tonkin Toyota, Broadway Toyota and Royal Moore Toyota). I told them I wanted the highest option package only in Tideland Pearl, Salsa Red Pearl, Seaside Pearl or Driftwood Pearl, and prepared for a long, long wait.

new Prius

A week later I had an e-mail from from Pat Fitzpatrick at Ron Tonkin Toyota. There was a Tideland Pearl (my first color choice) with every option on the book being built in Japan, expected delivery in March, did I want it? U betcha!

Last Friday I had a call from Pat. My car came in a little earlier than expected. I could pick it up at 5:00 PM.

Wow! Good thing I had my financing already pre-approved via our credit union. 🙂 All I had to do was arrange for someone to come with me out to Tonkin to drive my other car home and I was set to go.

And now I am a two-car, one-driver family, which seems really stupid. But #1 son will have his license in a few months. Until then I’ll have to force myself to drive the Outback every now and then, so it stays in good running order. Because #1 son is going to drive the Prius over my cold, dead body!

Since coming home with it, I’ve been reading the manuals to figure out how everything works. So far I’ve taught the button on the rear-view mirror to open the garage door. And I’ve taught it to talk to my cell phone. I can now receive calls in the car by touching a button on the steering wheel. The caller’s voice comes over the stereo speakers and they hear my voice via the voice-activated-control mike. I’ve set my favorite radio stations (done via a touch-screen menu), and loaded a few CDs in the changer. I’ve taught it generally where “home” is (not exactly for security reasons), so I can chart a course to home from anywhere via the on-board navigation. I haven’t figured out the voice activation commands yet, but I know that if I tell it I’m hungry it will give me a list of restaurants.

Yeah… I admit it. It’s a lovely metal skin wrapped around a geek toy. I’ll post a pic as soon as I have a good one.[01/30/05 6:35 PM PT — picture added]

Knitting by Judy @ 5:24 PM

Today I had lunch with a colleague down on the waterfront, and then we wandered over to Fiber Arts Northwest, where the Start The Year Off Right sale was still going on. There were a lot of fun things I saw there that I’d love to get my hands on, but I restrained myself and came away with nothing but some Wildfoote sock yarn in “Brown Sugar,” which is actually a combination of browns, gold, orange, blue, black and green. It’s so fun looking, that it might take priority over the sock scarf.

I also saw a few fun things that I think I could use as part of the Quilting Arts Magazine 2006 Calendar Contest. A couple of us at work entered last year and it was lots of fun. Although I never got past the “submission” stage, someone I work with was a finalist. This year the theme is “what’s your utopia?” Entries must be small embellished quilts of 12″x12″ to 14″x14″. It took me awhile to come up with my utopia because I didn’t want one that a lot of other people would submit. And now that I have, I’m not sure I’ll have time to complete it. But if I do, I’ll post a picture.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:36 PM

I had a busy, fun weekend!

Saturday was the usual lunch with M. Then, since it was a relatively nice day, I decided to take a little trip over the Chehalem Mountains to Carlton to visit Woodland Wool Works, quite possibly one of the coolest places on earth. Spin, felt, dye, knit, crochet, tat — no matter what your fiber art addiction, they have fun stuff. I especially like their “stash room” where the discontinued and used items go to find a home. I usually end up with more than I planned on, but I restricted myself to some Crystal Palace circular bamboo needles, some Opal yarn, and a few incidentals like stitch markers (they have some flexible ones I really like) and straight cable needles. If you live in the area or are ever within striking distance, Woodland Wool Works is well work the visit!

Another cool place in Carlton (can you believe such a small town has two cool places?) is The Chcolate Sheep Gallery. Opened by felt artist Loyce Ericson in 2003, the gallery features the work of Ericson and several other fiber artists, is open for felting classes, and sells small-batch gormet chocolates like Sharffen-Berger. Being a dark-chocoholic, I indulge in Sharffen-Berger wherever I can get it. I’m not sure what hours The Chcolate Sheep keeps. They were closed on Saturday, although they have been open other weekends when I was there. If you are going only to visit the gallery, I suggest calling ahead.

Sunday I attended the parent/school meeting to discuss the New York trip in February that #1 Son is participating in. As well as seeing the sights, they will be visiting several advertising agencies to see what goes on behind the scenes. Wish I were going!

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:17 AM
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Having grown up going to bed with Johnny Carson, it’s sad to think that he’s really gone, now. None of the other late-night hosts have ever been as good, in my opinion.

Goodnight, Johnny.

Political Rants by Judy @ 12:38 PM

First it was Tinky Winky, and now SpongeBob SquarePants.

What is it about cartoon characters that the neocon right just doesn’t seem to understand?

This is fiction, people. There’s no hidden agenda here. It’s just a cartoon. Tinky Winky, SpongeBob, Barney and the rest are not equipped with sexual organs or hormones.

And what puts SpongeBob’s intentions in question? A video by the We Are Family Foundation staring SpongeBob, Arthur, Barney, Bear, Big Bird, Clifford, JoJo and over 100 others in which they sing the song “We Are Family.” The video was produced by the We Are Family Foundation together with its partners the Anti-Defamation League, Crown Theatres, Disney Channel, FedEx, Nickelodeon, HIT Entertainment, Nile Rodgers/Sony Publishing/The Bernard Edwards Estate/Warner Chapel, Nelvana, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop, Toni Mendez Shapiro Estate, and WGBH. The video also features cameo appearances by Bill Cosby, Diana Ross and Whoopi Goldberg. It will be distributed to 61,000 elementary schools (public and private ) in the US in March in celebration of the proposed National We Are Family Day.

The We Are Family Foundation supports programs that:

inspire and educate individuals of all ages about diversity, understanding, respect and multiculturalism; and to support those who are victims of intolerance.

All I can figure is that James Dobson, or someone who works for him, googled “We Are Family” and came up with the similarly named We Are Family Organization, a local group in Charleston, SC that bills itself as the “voice of informed straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people who have chosen to love and support our relatives and friends by working to spread truth about homosexuality. Our focus is on young people because they generally feel so desperately alone.” This group doesn’t use cute little cartoon characters as part of its program.

I happen to think that its mission is not a bad idea. But I don’t believe the two groups are involved with each other.

Lighten up, everyone. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon.

We are family
I’ve got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing!
We are family
I’ve got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing!

Everyone can see we’re together
as we walk on by.
And we fly just like birds of a feather
and we’ll tell no lie.
All of the people around us they say
can they be that close.
Just let me state for the record
we’re giving lovin a family dose


Living life is fun and we’ve just begun to get our share
of this world’s delights
High hopes we had for the future
and our goals in sight
No we don’t get depressed here’s what we call our golden rules
have faith in you and the things you do
you won’t got wrong oh no
this is our family view


News Of The Weird by Judy @ 6:37 PM

At least it wasn’t this cold here!

Ottawa is in the grip of an intense cold spell; so intense that house have started making loud cracking noises. The noises have been so loud that worried Ottawans have been calling the police to report burglaries, gunfire and noisy neighbors.

Ottawa Police spokeswoman Monique Ackland said that one possible reason for the loud noises is exploding nails.

Now that’s cold!

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