Of (knitted) Horcruxes and Horsepower

18 Jul

Well…I finally settled on a yarn and a pattern for my next pair of hand-knitted socks, after several fiascos.  I’m currently about 3.5-4″ into the cuff piece of a Horcrux sock, from a pattern available only to members of the Six Socks Knit-A-Long Yahoo! group.  I joined that group, at least in part, to obtain the Horcrux socks pattern, which is a really nice sock even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan.  I am one, but not completely rabid, just a fan – I’ve read the books, seen the movies, know the differences between the two.  Period.  Anyway, the Horcrux socks have a lace section in the cuff that contains a zig-zag pattern that looks like the scar on Harry’s forehead, which can be considered to be the last Horcrux, the one Voldemort didn’t intend to make.  So, I’m working on that rather happily, and looking forward to the August 1 KAL sock pattern.  Now, I have to admit that I’ve never been part of a KAL before, so this should be challenging.  Pic of SIP (sock in progress) to follow, as soon as I can manage.


Meanwhile, on the home front, it seems that my husband, who is a *mechanic* by profession, has fuel and/or charging system issues on all three of his “daily driver” vehicles.  Now, my husband is a great guy, and for the most part, he actually prefers older vehicles so that he can tinker with them without screwing up the motherboard (newer cars have computers, older cars don’t).  Right now, he actually has 4 of them – a 90’s Dodge pickup; a ’73 VW Beetle we’ve had since ’93; a ’68 VW Baja Bug with which husband’s parents gifted him over the winter, and, as I think I’ve mentioned, husband recently purchased a ’78 Suzuki GS750 motorcycle from a craigslist posting, for $700. 


Of the 4, only the truck is running reliably and well these days.  So husband is feeling a bit horsepower-challenged, if you know what I mean.  The truck is nice enough, but it’s normal function is as Older Son (20 yr old) Daily Driver.  So husband is not enjoying sharing it, nor am I enjoying sharing my ’04 Pontiac Aztek with the two of them.  But that’s another story.  Back to our main theme. 


The ’73 Beetle (Bug)?  Well, after giving my husband over 10 years of excellent service, it started getting a bit…cranky, about 2 years ago.  Now it’s beyond cranky.  After trying everything he can think of to fix it, Beetle isn’t getting a full fuel filter after a little bit of driving.  This makes driving somewhat unpleasant, especially when the car chooses to sputter and then die in heavy traffic at 5:00 in the evening, when it’s well over 90 degrees outside.  Monday, it not only sputtered and died, it decided to belch smoke from under the rear hood.  Lovely!  


Now, the ’68 Baja is yet another story.  Why would my in-laws gift my husband with such a cool car?   Because they didn’t want to mess with it anymore, of course.  It was too unreliable, kept breaking down, so they gave their problem child to…their problem child!  LOL!  But, my husband, brilliant mechanic that he is, truly believes he will be able to lick problems that his father could not.  Whatever!  In the meantime, the generator has died due to the vehicle has been languishing in the garage since January.  So, can’t even try to figure out the problems till generator is fixed or replaced. 


Motorcycle?  Yeah, well, those fixer-upper fabulous deals are almost never as great as my husband thinks they will be.  This one, so far, required tires ($155 incl. mount & balance), special tools to tune it up and synch the carbs ($120) and registration/title (~$50), in addition to the basic purchase price.  Cosmetically, I’ve been a nice wife and haunted ebay for emblems, since the bike was stripped of every possible Suzuki logo ($58 so far, still short at least one emblem).  It also needs to be painted, quite desperately, so husband bought a (very nice) new air brush tool from a co-worker at a serious discount of about 75% off list ($50).  So, now the $700 motorcycle (which is worth $650 in good condition according to kelly blue book and NADA) has cost us $1183.  But who’s counting, right?  OK, I’m counting.  Why?  Because it still isn’t working properly – the gas tank leaks!!  IF we can find a used tank in good condition with all the necessary parts in it, it’s going to cost *another* $150-200 or so.  All in the name of saving money on gas, because “honey, a motorcycle will get 40-50 miles to the gallon!”  Um, yeah, it will, if he ever gets to actually ride it farther than the nearest gas station!  Since he can only carry about 2 gallons of gas in the tank without having the precious fuel leaking onto the ground, I’m guessing husband will not be riding motorcycle much in the near future. 


After all of that fuss and bother above, which comes on the heels of and during our providing food and utilities for an extra 2-4 people since last Thanksgiving (Fred’s parents and our friends that just moved into their own place last week – both separately and, for quite a while, all together!!), I’ve discovered that the economy has caught up with me, my tax refund and stimulus funds are gone, and money is suddenly a bit tight around here.  So I’m very, very crabby.  I loathe having to throw the bills up in the air and then pay the ones that land first, so to speak.  Will try to control this crabby/whining tendency and be my usual charming self.  The yarn will soothe me, if I can just concentrate on the knitting instead of thinking about the vehicles and money and the drive-by promotion I received on July 4th…and what to do with all of the “mistake yarn” in my stash, of course…and…


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