Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Knitting is Part of My Job Description, Right?

I just keep finding new ways to sneak knitting into my day and job description. I've added Mom-Knit-Mornings, a child friendly parents knitting group to encourage some of the pre-school moms who have approached me curious about getting an opportunity to knit. It's a small group thus far, which I'm perfectly okay with. We're putting it in the newsletter for the first time for April.

And then there's the annual Knitting in Public day which week. Wow has time flown since January, when I sent a polite and very hopeful little email towards Chicago. Said email was fruitful and last night I sent out the "one week out" email with details and final itinerary.

It's my fan-girl pleasure to welcome Franklin Habit to La Crosse Public Library next week. Franklin, author of a popular knitting blog, minder of a rather troublesome sheep named Dolores and some sock yarn named Harry, photographer, and cartoonist, is coming up to speak to us. Our theme for the day, coined by co-partner with pointy sticks Madame Director, is Keeping You in Stitches: Knitting and Humor. Franklin published a fabulous book of knitting cartoons: I cried from laughing so hard the first time I read it. I'm so excited about next week.

There will be raffles and snacks, we'll be doing a stash swap, a gentleman who learned to knit in Korea is dropping by to talk about his experiences, it's going to be a crazy fun afternoon/evening. I just have decide if I wear the shirt with the knitting ninjas or the shirt that says "Seize the Wool" in Latin.

Last weekend, all in the name of handing out flyers and talking up the event, Our Lady of the Business Office and I went over to the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit In. Seriously, getting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to sign the rest of her books for me, catching up for a few minutes with last year's Knit in Public Day speaker Joyce Williams, and possibly getting some of world's squishest alpaca yarn had NOTHING to do with it. Just because everyone I've shown the yarn to has tried to sneak off with it.

I hope I've remembered nearly everything we'll need, the clock is ticking. And unfortunately all this knitting doesn't include the really fast approaching deadlines of knitting I have to do before next week.

My life's been taken over by my pointy sticks--that's a good thing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

FTC Makes Own "Spoof" Commercial

It will hopefully come as no surprise that (if you're in the United States) you can, annually get a free credit report from each of the major reporting agencies. You're encouraged to do so, getting one every four months, so you have an idea if there is any fraud or anything you need to have corrected.

As soon as this was mandated, it spawned a website that said it was getting those reports for you for free--but only if you signed up for their credit monitoring service which *gasp* has a cost. This company has invoked the musical jingle on television.

The FTC has taken an amusing step to point to the site where actually free reports can be requested. You know, the FTC sponsored site? They've spoofed the commercial--complete with Irish dancers. (Embedded below)

Thanks to Docuticker for pointing this out.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Caught Doing a Good Thing!

CNN did a feature on the increased use of public libraries during economic downtimes. I know this comes as a huge shock to all of the libraries and librarians faced with an ever increasing set of patrons and requests. (I'd say demands but that has negative connotations and many of the patrons are polite.)

But they featured a very special library
: Lebanon Public Library where the Head of Reference (one Sibling-the-Elder) set up a new Business Collection to encourage small businesses in her town.


Friday, March 06, 2009

A Customer's Complaint

Dear Store Owner,

The weekend I moved to the town where I now live, I, with the Incredibly-Patient-Mother and Sibling-the-Elder, visited your store. It wasn't a successful visit. What stock I could actually access was poor and the member of your staff I dealt with, your husband I believe, not only didn't seem to know the product lines beyond what was in front of him but also I had the extremely uncomfortable feeling he was protecting the store and the other people in it from me.

Last I checked, I'm not considered particularly intimidating to anyone over the age of nine. But having the feeling I was unwelcome I left and found other places to shop. Places that didn't shun me because I wasn't a middle aged matron or retiree. I found a couple of people who spoke well of your shop but not an overwhelming voice that might persuade me to try again.

Today, after a morning of visiting other shops, yours was the last stop on the way back to work. It was necessitated by a work purpose, I can't say I'd have bothered otherwise. You were polite but not welcoming. I could tell that based on your perception of my age you had written me off as someone unworthy of your notice, other than to get me out of your store quickly. You couldn't even be bothered with the usual chit chat about the weather.

I was disappointed, I had hoped for more. As someone who works directly with children, I know the importance of acknowledging the young child as well as the adult. And if you're willing to write me off because you assume that I'm too young, how might you treat someone who is truly in years still a child?

It is ultimately a financial loss for your store. I don't have a huge amount of discretionary cash but I do shop with intent to purchase. Had I felt welcome, I would have returned to your store and, quite possible, spent a fair amount of money. I would have been happy to share that knowledge with others. And I come in contact with a lot of other people these days--public library and all that. Instead, I'll be more than happy to steer them to other stores.

The "Kid" Who Had the Audacity to Walk in Your Door

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Book Review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

This was one of the two selections for book group this month, otherwise I can't say I'd have finished it, nor probably ever picked it up. Despite high reviews, I was disappointed.

Lucy is the latest daughter in a line of women cursed to get pregnant at 17 and go crazy promptly following the birth of her daughter. Cursed by an evil Elfin King who fell in love with her ancestor, the only knowledge of the spell the women are given is in a version of Scarborough Fair.

The book was irritatingly predictable. What twists were thrown in--the sexual assault that gets Lucy pregnant, a wedding at which 10 different religious clergy from a variety of religions attend--felt disjointed and odd. I couldn't connect with Lucy and reading felt like I was just waiting out pages to find out how they would overcome the three tasks outlined. Lucy found strong support from the boy next door and her foster parents, but in relying on them, she seemed to give over being an active heroine. And while the Elfin King hovered sinisterly in the background, the strange use of him as an adviser for teen fathers seemed really out of place.

Werlin did some interesting research into the history of the song but only gives her audience a taste of it while muddying the story with characters never fully developed and ones I just couldn't feel empathy with/for.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Brief Moment of Cute: Pangolins

I heard mention of these on a recent episode of Lime and Violet (insane giggly knitting pod).

They look like armored hedgehogs!!! CUTE!