Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Franklin’s back! (As if you didn't know!)

And thinking about Franklin, and my classes with him next month, I began wondering which issue of the Twist Collective it was that published his brilliant essay about the Ten Knitters You Meet in Hell. I pottered around in the Twist archives for a while, quite needlessly, because Google found it in one.

[Google has done some good work for me lately – I have started to compile this year’s list of Books People Might Like for Christmas. There was one, recently reviewed, for which I could remember neither author nor title, just what it was about. Amazon’s search engine failed – I kept getting helpful suggestions, but not the book I was looking for. Google, same key words, got it right away. They also tracked down an ode of Horace for me the other day from a mis-remembered quotation. Those boys can write an algorithm.]

Not much else on the knitting front. I have advanced to the third triangle of the Wingspan. Not sure if I like the yarn I snatched, rather than chose, from stash.

So I’ll write this morning about my credit card. It’s been blocked.

It got some heavy use last week – the Shetland Times, that Kirkmichael postcard, the order to Jimmy Bean, rail fare to London.  (It’s not maxed out.)

The rail tickets were bought on Sunday afternoon. On Monday I thought I fancied something to read. Granddaughter Lizzie (American Studies, Birmingham University) is doing a course on The Thriller this year. The reading list makes a feature of Sara Paretsky whom I’ve never read, so I thought I’d have a go. No luck. [Elmore Leonard isn’t even mentioned in the extensive reading list. I suspect the academic attraction of Paretsky is partly, at least, that she’s a woman who writes about a feisty, perhaps even Lesbian, woman detective. Two birds with one stone.]

I tried various stratagems and eventually rang Amazon. They were kind and helpful and suggested all the things I had already tried. No luck.

And just as I was gloomily revving myself up to phone the bank, armed with the last four digits of my Social Security Number, they phoned me! And I assured them that I really had wanted to pay Jimmy Bean and the Shetland Times, and they said that’s fine, the card is un-blocked as of now (and the balance is what I thought it was).

I spent the evening in a glow of happiness. The only trouble is, still no Paretsky this morning. But I have the comfort of knowing I can phone Mr Umesh when he gets to his desk – I don’t have to start at the bottom.

I have never believed in this unusual-activity business, since I went to Theo’s wedding and paid for a hotel room in CT, and hired a car, and they didn’t raise an eyebrow. What activity could be more unusual than that, for me? None of last week’s transactions were really that odd, or that high-priced, except perhaps for paying so much for a postcard. What will they do when I buy a new desktop computer, or a suede shirt?


  1. Anonymous8:43 AM

    I find that the card fraud people get upset if they see transactions technically "in" the US and UK processed in one day - there doesn't seem to be a marker for an online order, bizzarely, and therefore this suggests to them that you are in two places at once, which is impossible, ergo Someone Else is using your card details etc.....

  2. The bank cancelled my card when I spent about 60p on an Interweave Store special offer! Apparently fraudsters will often try a small transaction and if it works will go for a big one.

  3. I've just ordered a Sara Paretsky audiobook from the library. I like a bit of crime fiction to break up my rather monotonous present existence and I'm always open to the suggestions of others. They even have several of her novels in Large Print - so much more relaxing to read with older eyes.

  4. Thanks for the morning laugh, I somehow missed the ten knitters you meet in hell. As a student and teacher I recognized them all, and hope I am not among them. I read a couple of Sara paretsky years ago, but they don't stick out for me. I did just finish a couple of Elly Griffiths, which I enjoyed. Oh, and speaking of enjoyment, some horses really do like to race. My horse hated any other to pass her if we were running on a trail, and would kick into high gear with no encouragement from me.