Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The last of Arizona...

Yes, it's true. I've finally finished my last sting in the desert heat of Arizona! I did stay long enough to see a bit of Monsoon season though. What do you know, there is weather in AZ afterall...Still hot though. heh Had to switch hotels in the middle of the week (uh, multiple times), causing me to have to leave groceries in my car all day. Apples didn't fair so well in a hot car... half baked!
During Monsoon, the weather can change at the drop of a hat. I went into an office with blue skies as far as the eye could see...
and came out to pouring rain! Ever so brief, but still, and amazing site after months of blue skies. =) I spent half of my last trip down south in a border town, Nogales. Beautiful area!
Amazing sunsets!
And finally, I made it to Phoenix for the last week. Unfortunately, my week in Phoenix happened to coincide with the hottest week so far this year! 115 degrees is seriously not fun! Can't say I was so sad to see my last Arizona sunset:
My week in Phoenix translated to a week spent indoors in a/c. haha I was forced to shop... causing my suitcase to be overweight for the very first time in the more than a year I've been traveling on a regular basis. haha Had to do that lovely suitcase shuffle at the ticket counter, but I made it! And all those flights finally paid off! I'm finally silver elite with an airline and got bumped up to first class for my flight home... where I met a very entertaining guy who also travels for his job. That is one of the good parts of my job - I meet so many interesting people! Here's the really funny part, he knew who the Yarn Harlot is! And he even brought her up! haha Yes, big surprise. I was knitting on the plane. Can't share that project quite yet... unless you're on Ravelry. It's on my project page. =)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Back to the Needles

Hey, wasn't this mostly a knitting blog?! heh Haven't been doing so much of that lately. I think being stuck in the desert in ridiculous heat finally sucked the will to knit out of me... I'm starting to find the urge again now though. I bought this yarn with the intention of making a felted messenger bag. It was from a non-profit shop in Seattle and cost next to nothing (well under $2 for three cakes of super bulky wool). It's been stored in a suitcase under my bed the past few months, waiting for inspiration to strike and prompt me to do some math to figure out stitch counts for the simple pattern I had in mind. That day (technically, night) finally came around 1 this morning (still on AZ time even though I'm in IN for the weekend).

Step One: Knit a swatch - unavoidable here!

Step Two: Beat the crap out of it... er, FELT it... to judge shrinkage

Step Three: Knit... A LOT =)

The Perfect Bag(s)

When you travel for a living, you're always looking for the "perfect" bag... or combination of bags. heh I've been dragging a large computer/office bag around for the past year. I'd purchased this bag, a Swiss Army bag, for only $20 as it had been stored, unused, in someone's garage and they finally decided they no longer wanted it taking up space and had listed it on craigslist simply as a computer bag with wheels. It was just too good a deal to pass up once I saw what it was! =) This was just before I was offered a travel position... as if I'd known I'd need this bag soon. heh It's perfect for traveling to offices, neatly fitting pretty much everything I need to have on hand during the day. It doesn't work quite so well as a carry-on however. It's large size means it often doesn't fit either under a seat or in the overhead bin on smaller planes and often needs to be gate-checked... meaning I have to pull the laptop out and hand-carry that while the bag goes down below. So, lately, I've been using this as my 2nd checked bag and packing my laptop in a backpack-style computer bag. That works... but leaves me with light bruises on my shoulder after every trek through an airport. I really needed something with wheels to get me through the airport unscathed. I'd seen one at Big Lots for around $25, but passed at the time because it was small and I had my behemoth already. Rethinking things, I'd gone back for it... no bag. =( The search continued. Tonight, after a wonderful day spent with a great friend, I ran into Wal-Mart to grab a couple things and just happened to take a trip down the clearance aisle (something I rarely do). What should I find there? The perfect small office bag!! And on clearance for only $20! It's made by Franklin Covey, has the strap across the back so it will easily piggyback over the handle of another bag for easy transport of all the bags at once and is well-padded. Perfect. =) No more backpack bruises. No more shuffling items from bag to bag in the trunk of a rental car in the parking lot of an office or at the car rental return. This bag has just enugh room for my computer and accessories, a knitting project and a book. =) It will take its maiden voyage in just a couple days...
Alas, the bag turned out to be not-so-perfect afterall. One two-week trip where it's most roughest use was the trip to and from on the plane resulted in a bag with a practically non-functioning extension handle (meaning I couldn't roll it - the whole point of the bag) and the piece of fabric across the back (enabling it to piggy-back on another bag - requirement #2) pulling free at both seems to a point where it was barely attached upon return to Indy Luckily, still had the receipt so I got my money back. The search is back on...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Hotel Hopping

Oh, this last week and a half in Arizona was tiring. I flew into Phoenix and drove down to Rio Rico... for a couple days in order to finish up an office in Nogales (Mexican border town), then headed back on the road...(the scenery down there is gorgeous at least!) over to Tombstone... where I stayed another couple days to work an office in Douglas (another border town). Enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the hotel... before heading back to Tucson where a rainbow awaited my arrival... for the last few days to work an office there. Whew! Three hotels in less than a week! Tiring. When I go back this Sunday, it looks to be even worse... I'll be hopping back and forth among Tucson, Phoenix, Patagonia and possibly Rio Rico again, rarely in one place more than a day. I'm insisting on a better car this time! haha Of course, the Enterprise in Phoenix promised me a better car my return... so I get my travel and my company is flying my into TUCSON this time. *sigh* There is still hope! I got a really good car the one time I flew into Tucson. Beginning to think I should just leave my bags in the car and just take in a set of clothes for the following day at these hotels. haha Oh, the days of being in one hotel for a month or more...