Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye
March 13th, 2011

Pillows, Projects and Plasmas

Here is the March pillow from Pine Mountain, modeled by our Ms. Duchess:

I received two lovely project bags from Susan this week.  The blue and white one will house Chatelaine’s Swan Lake.  I’ll be organizing the kit and putting in first stitches…. today!!

Thank you for the condolences on the untimely loss of our beloved plasma TV.  We spent hours last weekend researching and shopping for a replacement.  The original store we bought from (and were quite happy with the service) is now going out of business, so we had to find an alternative….

Sunday, DH and Z were off to the local Sears and Best Buy.  We learned that this is an interesting time of year for a major electronics purchase.  The 2010 models are being cleared out to make way for the new 2011 models announced earlier this year at CES. 

We knew we wanted another TV at least the size we had just lost (50″).  I was also hoping to get something internet-ready given our love of Netflix and Hulu 🙂  3D was also of interest given we are HUGE baseball fans and ESPN has a 3D channel on DirecTV. 

Finding those three in a set that we liked proved to be a challenge.  Budget was not too much of a factor (I am amazed at how the prices have dropped on plasma TVs!!)

After DH’s initial outing on Sunday, it was time for research.  And more research.  We considered buying online (too scary to buy something this big sight-unseen).  We considered switching to LCD/LED (viewing angles and lighting in our living room are more conducive to plasma). 

The problem was that we were limited on where to shop.  DH and I went out Monday evening, visiting *two* Sears locations and Best Buys.  We found a couple serious contenders at Sears, but couldn’t find a salesperson to save our lives.  We had questions but no one was around to answer them, let alone take our money.

The one common theme…. “new models will be here in a month.”  At this point, I was almost resigned to having to go that long.  Surely, I could handle being a few weeks behind on Glee and Bones? (K works on those nights and we usually watch after she gets home and dinner/chores are done)  The DVR will hold out, right? 

Tuesday, while having lunch with a friend, she mentioned a audio/video place near my office that designed home theatre systems.  This was in Scottsdale, a notably more affluent area of town than my little Mesa.  Perhaps the concept of customer service won’t be quite as foreign….?  I’d certainly pay a little more for that.

I called DH and suggested he pick me up from work and we take a chance.

As soon as we walked in to StarPower, we knew we had a winner.  No empty spots on the wall.  More brands than any other place we had visited and we were greeted as we came in.  We discussed our requirements with Ron, who was very knowledgeable of all the brands and options.  We looked at several models, asked the questions that we couldn’t find answers to in our research and finally found the one for us.  A Samsung 63″ plasma.  While it was last year’s model, it met all of our wishes and then some at a price well within our budget.

We also elected to upgrade our sound system with a new soundbar and receiver.  Overall, not a bad hour for Ron 😉  But then, that is what happens with good customer service and knowledgeable salespeople.  Once that relationship is established, it’s easy to keep it going.  DH and I had planned to do the upgrade soon, but this made it much simpler for all.  DH also got a new pair of headphones thrown in to the deal 😉

All was right in my world…..

Until Friday.

The plan was to have everything installed this coming week.  However, there was a small problem….

The lovely new TV?  Last year’s model?  They couldn’t find one anywhere available….

Drat.

But, their suggested solution has won my business forever.

They will give us the next model that is coming out “in about a month” (which happens to be 64″) but rather than make us simply wait, they will provide a “loaner” TV this week and install the other components.

At no additional charge.

Granted, I don’t know the size or type of TV we’ll be getting as our loaner and won’t until *this* Friday.  I can’t imagine it’ll be a 19″ CRT, though…. and right now anything is better than what we have.

 So that’s been my week…… more as the saga continues!

March 7th, 2011

Weekend Successes…and Not

I spent Sunday afternoon at Downton Abbey (thank you, Netflix), finishing up this lovely Faerie:

Mirabilia RR – 2011

Kathy’s RR – Faerie Treasures

This was the best part of the weekend…. the worst part happened on Saturday night.  Kids and I watched Sorceror’s Apprentice (not bad…we liked it) and after the coda finished we heard snap and crackle from our 50″ plasma TV.

Not a good sound.

The TV is about seven years old and we’ve had a couple issues with it previously (under warranty….though it was a struggle and took months to get it fixed) so we weren’t too horribly surprised with the latest. 

Our lovely TV now has a 1″ x 15″ black line down the center of the picture.  It’s like watching a move from a seat with a pole in front of it.  Well, one that doesn’t reach the ground…..

TV shopping and evaluation has begun.  DH went out Sunday for some initial scouting and we’ll be headed out with an Intent To Purchase here shortly.

September 10th, 2010

Ten on the Tenth – September

This month’s 10 on the 10th is inspired by the upcoming start of the fall television season!  We’re watching the last episodes of our summer favorites and looking forward to our regular season series. 

10 Shows on my DVR Scheduler

Note:  There are actually way more than 10 set to record…I’d have to wait another two weeks to do the full list 😉

In no particular order:

  1. Bones – We “found” Bones about a year ago and quickly found ourselves catching up the episodes on DVD and looking forward to Thursday night.  Great stories and characters and the geek in me loves all the science!  Of course, David Boreanaz is awfully easy on the eyes 😉
  2. Castle – Given my avowed love of Captain Tightpants, I’m sure it’s no surprise that we’ve been watching Castle since Episode 1.  Helps that it’s a great show.
  3. Dancing with the Stars – An interesting season ahead.  I’ve watched *most* of them, missing some of the early seasons as House was higher on the priority list.  If only I’d discovered the joys of the DVR earlier! 
  4. Fringe – I <3 Walter.  Another joy for my inner geek…..
  5. Ghost Hunters – The original is still the best with Grant, Jason, Steve and Tango!  It’s reality TV with quite a bit of unreality….do you believe in ghosts? 😀
  6. Sanctuary – Most of our serial/fictional SyFy shows are summer ones (Eureka, Haven) but this is our fall series.  It’s filmed entirely in front of a green screen, which makes for interesting backdrops.  Most of the time you forget what you are seeing isn’t “real” but the stories and characters are truly the forefront of the show.
  7. Glee – I own all the Glee CDs.  I went to the live concert earlier this year.  I have seen all episodes at least twice… yeah, I’m a fan.  LOL
  8. American Chopper: Senior vs Junior – We watched some of the early shows, and as much as I love seeing the bike builds, the constant yelling and drama was a little much for regular viewing.  This season, even with the acrimony between father and son, the respective shops are much easier to take.  The drama is still there, but it’s a bit less….chaotic.
  9. Say Yes to the Dress – Kylie has decided that she *must* go to Kleinfeld’s (the store in the show) for her wedding dress and she wants Randy (the store fashion director) to select it for her.  I’ve suggested she might start with a date…..  Until then, we’ll watch other brides and their perfect dresses 🙂
  10. Whose Line is it Anyway? – I think we’ve seen every episode at least 2-3 times, but there’s always a laugh!  We will skim thru the episodes with chicks and stick to the favorites Greg, Brad and Chip.  Favorite bits:  Wayne’s thong, Meow, Tapioca and Nice Pants 😀

It’s still the 10th here in Arizona!

February 10th, 2010

Things I’ve Learned

  • Stupid people will continue to do stupid things without any encouragement
  • Three weeks is way too long between nail appointments
  • At approx 2.5 weeks at least one nail will lift
  • Bandaids are useful for “holding” lifted nails and make it appear that all is well
  • One must remove aforementioned bandaid to use finger to pass security at work
  •  If I *should* work on a project, I have no interest in doing so
  • If I should *not* work on a project [cough] Olympic knitting [/cough] I really want to
  • I really really really like the new Jenny Bean sampler
  • But not on 40 count, maybe 36?
  • My LNS owner can talk me into a lot of things (like doing the new Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow on 30-ct.  Over one)
  • I really like the TV show “Bones”
  • I have a number of seasons to catch up on
  • I am a Mass Effect 2 widow
  • But that’s ok since I can play with the new laptop, watch my favorite shows and sleep soundly with the game in the background

Pssst.. Cheryl:  This is the yarnThis is the pattern 🙂

January 15th, 2010

Some (Hopefully) Interesting Bits

Lots of stitching time this week as Heroes, Leverage and Fringe were back in addition to some nail-biting football games.  We also watched Bones this week, a new show to our lineup.

This year I’ve joined the Totally Useless SAL!  That’s right, you will be treated to a lovely colorful picture each month!  I even bought a special glass jar for the monthly reveal.  Exciting, eh?

Here’s January:

Ooooo….  Aaaaahhhhh….. See those DMC bands peeking out?  There are a few in there…

I love how I can see exactly what I’ve been working on in the last 4ish weeks by the layers in the jar:

I suspect that later months this year won’t be as clear when I go back to my usual “Barely Managed Chaos” rotation approach.

I finished and *finish-finished* my Michael Powell bookmark last weekend:

One goal complete for January!  w00t!

Knit the next installment of the KrisKnits KAL:

And started the next Little House Needleworks ornament, Pear Tree:

I did put in a little time on Summer Queen, but as I’m thisclose to making the Goal on her for this month, I’m going to hold the picture until then.  I haven’t touched the crochet goal as I’m saving that for a six-hour car trip back from Vegas on Jan 30.  Plenty of time to finish it off 🙂