Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Remind me not to brag about two posts in two days again, m'kay? Seriously, though, things have been ridiculously busy around here. Two whole weeks of taking midterms and giving midterms and trying to remain sane even though my apartment looked as if it had been hit by a tornado were not good. The apartment is still a mess, but at least it's spring break, so I'm not there to notice ;) Where am I? Visiting Heather in Louisville. The weather here is great; it's been in the 50's to 60's, and there was rain (not snow! not ice! rain!) and sun, too.

The trip has been relaxing, although this morning we had to jump my car battery. Here in the South (yes, to me this is the South), when your hood is up, it's like a magnet for every guy in a two mile radius. Of course, since Heather and I are quite capable of jumping a battery, as we've done it often enough, we politely turned down all offers of help. Until that young pup of a security guard on her campus insisted that he be allowed to take over help. See, we were using a jump pack thing that the security office makes available for people in need on the campus, and after carefully reading the directions, were confident that all was well. Well, this eager young man (think golden retriever... "I've got it, I've got it!") was sure that we had hooked it up wrong, and that the black cable needed to be on the battery instead of on a "non-moving metal part on the car." You know, to ground it? So he clips that onto the battery (not the best idea) and tells me to start 'er up. Well, Bonnie (my car, yes, she has a name) wasn't going for that, so he says we need a different jump pack. So he pulls the clamps off of the battery, at which point I can SEE ELECTRIC SPARKS arcing between the battery and the clamp, and hops in his Jeep to fetch us a new one. The new one was dead, so he quickly went to get a third.

Now, I know this is a long story, but I've really got to share... bear with me. He hooks up the third one (yes, the positive and negative ends, again, a bad idea) and says immediately to turn on the car. Um, sir? My battery has absolutely no charge. None. Three seconds is not going to give it a charge, no matter what you think. But I try, 'cause this guy wouldn't take no for an answer. So Bonnie doesn't start (who's surprised? not me), and the warning lights in the interior start flashing (you know, the oil light, the battery light, and the temperature light), so I say, maybe we should just give it a minute and I walk to the other side of the car. He says, "Well, would you mind if I try?" and hops in and starts leaning on the ignition. Now, the pack says to try the ignition for no longer than 10 seconds every two to three minutes, but he's just holding it down, pushing on the accelerator. After about forty-five seconds of this, the air smells strongly of gasoline, and the car, she starts. So Young Pup hops out and pulls the jump pack off of the battery, instead of leaving it on for a few mintues so that the battery has a bit of a charge, and says "Does your car often make a tone?" I was confused and said, sure, it makes lots of noises to GET HIM AWAY FROM THE CAR BEFORE HE BREAKS IT. So he hops into his Jeep and leaves us in the parking lot.

Now, I know enough about jumping cars to know that you have to run them for awhile so that the alternator can do it's job, so Heather and I hop in. And what do we hear? The most ominous noise my car has ever made (and really, she makes lots and lots of noises, not all of which are comforting). It's like the dinging noise that comes on when you leave your lights on or your keys in or something, except instead of being an off-and-on noise, it's this persistent "I'm really upset" alarm type noise. And it wasn't stopping. And I couldn't turn my car off, because I had no reason to believe there was enough power in the battery to start it again. So after five minutes of praying that my car was not ruined in a strange city, I turned Bonnie off. After about ten seconds, the noise stopped. I was a bit nervous about the chances that the car would even start again, but she did, and we took off to get lunch (and charge the battery up).

Really really long story short? Bonnie's fine, and I feel much more like a feminist than ever before. Seriously, I know how to jump a car battery without causing even short-term damage to a car, so just let me do it. Or read the directions. Is that too much to ask?

And back to knitting. I finshed my Adamas Shawl, but it's not blocked. Dorm rooms are, unsurprisingly, not fit for blocking shawls. So that'll be done when I get back to Iowa City this weekend. And I've started Shedir, from the Knitty Breast Cancer special issue. It's lovely, and fun to knit, too. I don't have pictures, though, as I forgot the cable that goes with my camera. You can see some great pictures of Shedir here, though. And why not read about the design process at Girl From Auntie? I only got one ball of Calmer (um, it's expensive), so there's a bit of adventure involved. If there's enough yarn, expect a picture soon. Because why would I do homework when there's anything interesting around to be knit?


Blogger Wool Winder said...

It's a fact of life that men rarely read the directions.

Can't wait to see your shawl!

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your car is ok. He could've really messed things up. I have to admit I probably would have slapped his hand away if he tried to touch my car.
I'm also proud of you for finishing a shawl. I can't wait to see it. Do you enjoy lace knitting? I'm just finishing up your third package now.
I hope you have a great rest of the spring break.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Did you have any problems with the chart for the body of the Adamas shawl when you got to row 9? I am stuck there and am wondering if you also noticed a descrepancy between the number of stitches on rows 8 and 9 in the section between the first and second markers and the section between the third and fourth markers. What did you do about it or did you not have a problem? I tried emailing Knitpicks and they haven't responded. I would appreciate any insights you have. Thanks.

2:01 AM  

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