It's been a long-standing joke hereabouts that most of the cars bearing the bumper sticker "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" look like they couldn't make it through the parking lot at the Shop 'n' Save.
Greg and I took the Mt. Washington Cog Railway to the summit this weekend, and had ourselves a fine time in the 20 minutes we were allotted before the return train departed. I sustained one brief moment of embarrassment when a ball of Kureyon slipped out of my knitting bag on the ascent and rolled through the feet of the people seated behind me, but they were all most gracious about helping me retrieve and rewind it. The kids on the train thought that my knitting was part of the entertainment.
Some sights on the trip were more appealing than others. I thought our brakeman/tour guide/stand-up comic was putting us on when he announced that hikers on the Appalachian Trail frequently moon the train as it passes. (You could hear a small ripple of little voices as kids asked their parents, "Mom/Dad, what's 'mooning' mean?") The brakeman wasn't kidding, though. On the trip downhill from the summit, we passed one guy who not only showed us his better side, but put on a fairly creditable Chippendales-with backpacks dance routine as well.
You take your three-hour time slots where you can get 'em. I took advantage of the time to make progress on the Kureyon cable scarf from Noro World of Nature #15. Can't get enough of that Kureyon!
Incidentally, if you're ever tootling up Route 16 in North Conway, NH, stop in at the Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company. Greg and I had an amazing dinner there for relatively little money, and the food's so good it will almost make you cry. Think handmade grilled pheasant sausage on a baguette with Brie and a chipotle-fig spread with a side of yam fries. Of course, you must order a pint or two of their fabulous beer to cry into.
Here's something that will make you go "Hmmmm": When we left on Thursday night, the average price of gas on the trip was about $2.80 per gallon. When we returned via the very same road the next day, the average price was $3.20, and one place had already started charging over $3.50. I should have remembered the name and location of the place to report it to the DOE's price-gouging Web site. Actually, I think I should have reported all of the gas stations on the route. Next time I pass a Lincoln Navigator with a Bush bumper sticker, it will take all my resistance not to flip off the driver.
The Kureyon scarf is only about half finished, but I've been finishing stuff as well. I've made three Lamb's Pride tote bags for felting (two in Blue Magic, one in Old Sage). The friend running the rescue parade at the National Specialty received totes already from a mutual friend with an embroidery business, so I'll needle-felt these and donate them to the auction. Proceeds go to Beardie Rescue, so these totes will help rescue in any case.
I also managed to dig up instructions for socks that don't automatically assume that everyone in the world knows what "turn the heel" means. Armed with the instructions and some sock yarn from Knit Picks, I intend to make my first attempt at socks shortly. Wish me luck!
The Word from New Orleans
People who know me know that New Orleans is one of my favorite cities on earth. The main reason I haven't said anything about Hurricane Katrina is that the enormity of the disaster has simply robbed me of words to describe it.
I am happy to report that people I know have been reporting in, and all are safe, even though they are scattered to the proverbial winds and don't know when they'll be able to return home. My high-school classmate and her family are still in Lafayette, LA, and are frantically trying to enroll their youngest son (age 13) in school there. (The two older kids had already left for college in Providence and Denver, I think.) They evacuated early, and took Chester the Dachshund with them. They've had word that their house is still standing, but that's all they know. They're among the lucky ones.
Sometimes being a corporate wage slave has its perks. My company has a matching-gifts program for charitable donations, and has set up a site where it automatically matches employee donations to Katrina disaster relief. Greg and I made our donations through the site so we could effectively donate double, and we were able to choose to donate to the Red Cross or America's Second Harvest.
If you work for a large company (or maybe even a medium-sized one), it pays to check with the HR department about corporate matching gifts. Even if the company doesn't have a dedicated Web site for disaster relief (as mine does), filling out the matching gift form takes 5 minutes. If you're planning to donate, take the extra 5 minutes to double your money, if you can.
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