The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two Elephants for a Quarter....

....and other bits of wisdom. Completely free. How often do you see a deal like that? And yeah, it's probably good to remember that you generally get what you pay for.

Someone once told me that two elephants for a quarter is a good long as you have a quarter, and you need two elephants. Without those things, it's really just an outstanding debt and a backyard full of elephant poo.

I thought about this the other day, because I think that auction websites rely on the fact that people forget this truisim, and that people like me might even go one further and not only buy the elephant, but also the lot of 8 gently used wombats for sale by the same seller who will combine shipping on multiple wins. It's not pretty. And yes, I did get sucked in to buying three scrub tops with different cow patterns on them....because my backyard needs fertilizing, and I got a good rate on a loan of a quarter. Clearly, I need to start frequenting websites where nothing is for sale. (It was a good deal though...and it was cows! What could I do?)
By the way, why do they call it "winning" an auction? Personally, I'm not sure it really goes in the "win" column when you find yourself willing to pay more for an item than anyone else thinks it's worth. Just a thought.

Some other bits of wisdom I've accumulated over the years:
Cats are pointy on one end. Even if your eyeballs might fly out, it's best to hold in a sneeze when such a pointy thing is sleeping on your lap. Especially a nervous pointy thing.
Knitting a hard pattern that looks easy is like wetting yourself in a dark suit: it gives you a nice warm feeling, but no one really notices.
Never attempt to brush the crumbs off a freshly baked cake when mad at your child. My mother dumped an entire sheet cake into a sink full of soapy dishwater that way. It didn't help her mood much.

If you see a recipe called "Tuna Timbales", but you accidentally misread it as "Tuna Timebombs", it's probably best to just bail out then and there and accept that you will ALWAYS call it that whether you want to or not. And you really don't want to serve them to dinner guests. Not unless you have a burning desire to see how fast they can vacate your home.
When the bride to be looks like Malibu Barbie might have looked when she was younger and can talk for hours about the wedding plans but stumbles briefly over the groom's name, it might not be wise to bet on the longevity of the match. But, apparently, a derisive snort is not socially acceptable, either. What to do?
Have you ever really looked at a bag of mothballs? Man, can you imagine how big the moth must be?

If you ever have an unfortunate accident or disease and have to lose half of your brain, you can probably get a very high-up position working in customer service for a health insurance company. I think they pay you extra if you can make doctor's office staff whimper. I'm personally responsible for the awarding of several such bonuses.
There's more, but a person can only absorb so much wisdom at one time. I do, however, have photos for you. First, the chair fight:

The back and tush are mine and, in the name of maturity, I feel compelled to point out that I was in the chair FIRST. I was sewing. Miss was...well, whatever it is that she does besides waddle.

She did try to make the best of the situation.

But ultimately sought out nicer....

...and still nicer accommodations.

There has been some knitting going on, largely because I'm not smart enough yet to realize that the person with the bee allergy probably shouldn't sit in front of the rhododendron bushes at work and knit during lunch. You see what I mean about getting what you pay for, wisdom-wise.

Knit on...and be sure to drop by and share some wisdom of your own. Clearly, I can use it.


  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Wisdom, schmisdom.....
    That is achingly beautiful yarn! Might that be more Tidal Waves? I should peek at it again....

    Cabin? You bet!

  • At 11:19 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Think of all those moths with very high voices ! Jeff always corrects me if I say I won yarn on E:Bay " you have to pay so you didn't win " . Our sofa once looked like that Tommy in best position and Ted ( a visiting cat who stayed a year then moved down the road !) on the back .

  • At 2:30 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Advice? Gee, how topical; I've been winning bids on eBay for some particularly exquisite gemstone beads that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. Thus - advice!

    1. Avoid cows.
    2. If you can't avoid cows, set yourself a limit as to how much you'll spend on cows. Preferably an amount that you know is below the standard retail price of said cows, so you won't spend just as much as you would on the very same cows at your local cow shop. Plus shipping.
    3. If you are so enamored of cows you have found that you go above your limit, at least don't get into a bidding war with some other bidder who's obviously passionate about cows.
    4. Be a sneaky cow-bidder. Start hovering by your computer 15 minutes before the end of auction, even if the price is nowhere near your highest bid amount, so you can strike swiftly by upping your bid if someone outbids your top price by 50 cents a mere 2 minutes before end of auction. This works particularly well if you have no life, and find it no problem to be poised at your keyboard, refreshing the page every minute, at 3 a.m. or during the middle of work days. Have no sympathy for those other suckers who cannot make live bids at all hours of the day or night, or who live in other time zones and are asleep. Be merciless. Remember to set an alarm if necessary, for those times you get distracted or are sleeping.
    5. If despite these tactics you are outbid by some equally unscrupulous, sneaky, low-down, underhanded bastard of a cow-lover, learn to lose cows gracefully.
    5. After losing cows gracefully, get as far away as possible from witnesses; preferably out of hearing range, too. Then proceed to throw your temper tantrum. Return to your usual haunts only after it's totally out of your system, so you may successfully present a calm and gracious loser facade, to the point that if someone asks you, "Didn't you just get outbid on those cows you were dying for?"... You can answer - graciously - "Why, yes. Yes, I was outbid. But you know, cows aren't everything. You can't win them all. Besides, there will be other cows."

    Then go and break something, because after faking all that losing gracefully crap, you're gonna need to relieve the frustration. Again.

    Oh. ::looks stricken:: Wait. Did you want to know how to avoid auctions? Wups. My bad. The only way I know how to do that is simply not have any money.

    (Love the "Miss and the Battle of the Chair" sequence. And as usual, what is that sock yarn colorway?! Gorgeous! I got a skein of Deep Forest from Sunshine Yarns on Etsy that looks similar, but you know... crow tendencies here... Acquisitive people wanna know. [g])

  • At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Lilly said…

    Regarding your unacceptable derivisive snort: Wendy Reid Crisp has written a wonderful little book titled "100 Things I'm Not Going to Do Now That I'm Over 50" and #5 is:
    "I'm not going to Countenance BS.
    Our crapometers should be in near-perfect working order, finely tuned by bosses, teenagers and assorted marginally employed relatives. After fifty, when the delicate gauge registers in the red zone we can give audible alerts. Much like the important brooch or the scarf of our younger lives, the BS alert can be a personal trademark. "Bullshit" is too much to the point for everyday use; "pshaw" is impossible to pronounce. My mother says "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," a phrase that I'll avoid for emotional reasons. One friend says "Interesting"; another mutters something in Portuguese and crosses herself. Although I haven't settled on my trademark scoff yet, to enhance my general elegance I'm phasing out "What a crock.""
    I trying out a derisive "Indeed!"

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Heatherly said…

    mmmmhmmm tuna timbales made with jalepeno chips :-)
    my mom used to make those-minsu the jalepenos, when i was little.

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    I just want to say "oooooh..." about your sock yarn. And maybe wish for a virtual fondle (Hey! You know what I mean!). ;)

  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Gretch said…

    Ooooo, pretty, pretty yarn. Source? How does Marianne know?

  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous marti said…

    that is precisely why i don't frequent auctions sites very often.


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