Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Best Thing To Do

Think back to 1998, just for a moment. I was in university, studying for my Bachelor of Education. The mandatory class for learning how to load film strip projectors and slide carousels had just been made non-mandatory. You were ahead of the game if you had Netscape 2.0. It took thirty minutes to download a 3MB mp3.

I think it was that year I lost my voice during an illness over Christmas. I'd just learned about IRC, and I was trying it out on New Year's Eve. I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't talk to anyone. I wanted company.

That was the day a whole world opened up for me.

Since then, the internet has made lots of things possible for me. I've met lots of interesting people and have seen a lot of interesting things. I never realized before how big the world was until I started looking at it. It's a really, really big world.

Fastforward to yesterday, and to a conversation I had with my husband. My friend had given me a swift that her uncle made years ago. A swift, for those who don't know, is a carousel of sorts, that you put your unwound skein on yarn onto to make winding a ball easier. I was going to make some adjustments to it so that it would be able to take larger skeins of yarn on it. This required replacing the dowels on it with longer ones.

"How do you remove dowels from wood?" I asked my husband.

"You either wrench them out or hit them out with a hammer or chisel, I guess," he said. "The best thing to do would be to Google it."

That sentence echoed in my mind. The best thing to do would be to Google it. In 1998, a googol was 10 to a huge exponent. Now, it's a thing you do when you don't know something. Wow.

Well, I did Google it. And I found this video. Perfect, simple explanation. I got out the drill, some glue, the dowels I'd purchased the day before, and some cutters to cut them. Twenty-five minutes later, this is what my deck looked like:

I'd explain how it works, but I think it might be better explained with a video, which I think I'll post later. My neighbours were replacing their shingles while I was doing this, and I'm pretty sure they were fascinated with what I was doing. They didn't ask, but it went mysteriously quiet over there...

I'm heading for a vacation soon, and we'll be bringing along our new Macbook Pro. I've been getting used to switching back and forth between it and the PCs at work, and though I haven't yet figured out how to do all the things I used to do on the old laptop, it'll be a nice thing to bring with us (hubby has to look after his business while we're away). The only thing was it didn't come with a bag, so I made this:

See how nicely that zipper fits? Yeah, I did that. Yep. Me.

It's not drop-proof, but it'll work for carrying it around in a bag. While I'm proud of it, I have to say that it was possibly one of the most boring things I ever made. Hubby was not interested in patterns or cables or colours. I knew he'd choose black, even after I brought up balls of navy, forest green and red. Ah well, he's a programmer, not a knitter.

And really, I can't really fault him. He might not knit, but he figured out the best thing to do. Without his suggestion, I wouldn't have a swift.

I wonder what would I have done in 1998?


  1. Oh yeah. Netscape. AOL. Loooooong downloads. And look at us now. I delved into the internet for the first time back in 1994 and haven't looked back since. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

    You did good with the swift and laptop sleeve. I keep saying I'll make one for mine(sewn) but then I don't carry it loose anywhere so I wonder if I should even bother.

  2. Sleeve! That's the word I was looking for! I knew it's not called a bag... total brain fart. Thanks!

  3. Don't worry about the PC/Mac switch it is easier than you think. But you will find yourself on the wrong side of the screen trying to close it all the time. At least that is what I did. :)