Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

...and bite me if Christ-mas offends anyone.

Here's what's going on:

1) Trying to file and make lists for next year, so I remember what I'd supposed to be doing on January 4th. Office closes at EOB today.
2) Dental surgery (yes, you read that right, not me but it might be better if it were)
3) Doing 2 jobs (3 if you count nurse) see above.
4) Beadwork, beadwork, beadwork...I have a Christmas ornament gift that will not be ready for Christmas, and a bead knitted bracelet example that I'll be teaching in a class for the LYS in March not finished, but needed.
5) I just finished ALL the Christmas cards. (This is usually DH's job, but see 2 above, Tylenol and codeine do not make for coherent addressing.)
There's probably more, but I'm too exhausted to think of it. Good thing I have a gift list or I wouldn't remember what I was giving to whom.

Some of my pre-New Year's resolutions:

  1. No more RAK (random acts of kindness). I've been bitten twice, recently, very badly last week, but that's a story for another day.
  2. Next time I go to the post office on the busiest mailing day of the year (and I always do), I will swat the woman who decides on that day to mail packages to Australia, without the proper customs forms and insurance.She tied up the ONLY two clerks at the counter. And to the lady right in front of me...WRITE DOWN THE ZIP CODES so you have them next time.
And I'm still struggling with tendinitis. After a course of NSAIDs and now steroids...I'm just beginning to feel better.

I'm going to chill completely on Christmas. There will not be much cooking see the first #2 above, so it's a good thing there's wine. Hope yours is quiet too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Am I a good daughter or what?

Thanksgiving was spent with my mom, sis, hubby and boyfriend (sis's not mine). It was great to see everyone, but my mom is a nervous nellie type of person. She can't sit still for 15 consecutive minutes. Think about what meals are like...always. She was whipping the plates right out from under our noses when we were growing up. She is 80 and in good health (mentally and physically) and spends her time trying to figure out how to drive her family crazy. I think it is her life's work.

We love her...for short stretches. My sister arrived on Wednesday night, and spent the evening and the following morning, doing chores to make the house more winter ready. She and BF did a lot of work. DH and I arrived, with the wine, just in time for dinner on Thursday. We had a very nice meal, the four of us chatting and listening to stories about sis's vacation at Lake Mead, In case you're counting, the fifth member of our party was not chatting but doing the dishes (even though DH and I told her we would do the dishes). "I'm just getting them ready..."

Sis and BF (I have a really had time calling him a boyfriend. They've been together over 10 years. Just recently have they begun sharing living space. It is kinda happening organically.) left after dinner.

I made coffee so he could drive, and she could nap because she had to work the next day....she sent me an email the next day to say that the coffee did no good. He was asleep before they got to the turnpike...about 20 minutes from the house.

Here we are wine and all....













The next day, crazy woman that I am, I took my mother shopping....on, yes, "Black Friday". We did not get up at the crack of dawn, we did not try to grab good deals. We simply went so my mother could go to places she is uncomfortable driving to. Like the shopping area that has Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Meanwhile, DH got to stay home in his jammies and watch Pitt get trounced, and the Penguins play. It was a madhouse, made madder by my impatient mother...but I survived. (I only had to threaten to drop her off in the middle of the street, for backseat driving, once.) Only TO GO BACK OUT with DH in the late evening. Fortunately, by that time most of the crazy people had gone home, and we had no trouble getting parking places etc.

The next day we were getting ready to go home, and I got to witness a local event that has been going on for, at least 40 + years. Any minute now, some idiot will be offended and complain, and that will end the tradition. It starts with hearing sirens in the distance.

They keep getting louder until you see this--moving rather slowly.












Then came a parade of classic cars.......














Then came Santa!!! And a lion (????) character. The fire/rescue department and library branch are housed in the same building.












Santa was escorting the Christmas Tree (probably now called a holiday tree) to the town square.










They have been doing this since I was little. You can tell based on the photo above, that it has been a long time.

I hope no one messes with this tradition. Ever!! (And did I mention that the courthouse has a creche on the front lawn....right next to the menorah. Wonder how long that will last?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

And so it goes...

...the services over the weekend were exhausting. Larry always marched to a different drummer than the rest of us, and the gathering of friends and acquaintances and all the "Dead" and "rock and roll" T-shirts in evidence, attested to this fact. I've now been to two services where not only did friends say good things about the deceased, they cried as they did it. People wrote music and played, wrote and read poems, it was quite the gathering. And though Larry requested a closed casket for the viewing (he felt it would be too hard on his beloved wife because of his debilitated condition), the funeral director did such a good job he looked wonderful...Really. Very handsome. So his wife went against his wishes and had an open casket. She felt he would forgive her. Frankly, knowing Larry, he'd have been ticked if he looked this good, and didn't get to be seen. So now his family must pick up the pieces and be gentle with themselves. I hope they are.

Meanwhile remember the Kauni sweater? Well, enroute to the weekend it made a trip to the frog pond. I pulled it out down to the ribbing, and am now reknitting with at #2 (3 mm) needle. I didn't have time to take another photo, but picture it pulled to the ribbing. (I liked the ribbing because it has a purple cast on...very pretty.) I showed it to the LYS owner (read: yarn source), and she thought it looked OK, and that I had three options: 1) forge ahead, and we could make the steek a little larger....2) gradually move down to a smaller needle; or 3) frog and reknit. My decision was made when she said...hummm the fabric seems a little looser that I've seen. So I'm getting a firmer fabric now. It took over an hour all told to pull and rewind the yarn. Longer than I had anticipated. Then again, because I had steamed it some to check my gauge, I was a little worried that I was not going to be able to pull it out at all. But it worked out fine. So I'm back to the beginning again. I only had to pull out between 30 & 40 rows, but it took a long time. Especially since I didn't want the yarn to tangle.

So maybe I'll get something done over the holiday. What I really want to do, though, is finish that damn Cozy.

Everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to visit my mom...I'm taking the wine. Lots of wine.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh Hai...Part 2

The beat goes on...

And so does Larry. We were expecting the end to be imminent....the messenger was wrong. Completely. It is near though. I can't imagine what this is doing to his immediate family. Every blinking light and voicemail notification makes me cringe.

ETA: Ahhh well....much nearer...rest in peace Larry dear. You will most certainly be missed.

Here are a couple of bones since this name of this blog does have the word "knit" in it:

The socks that took all summer.....


These are the Lava Flow pattern from a former (reformed?) blogger called Sockbug. Her's was one of the first blogs I read. She posted lots of cute patterns. She no longer posts, but the patterns are still available. Maybe she is on Rav. I never checked.

I used my regular eye-of-partridge heel and made them taller. The yarn is Lorna's Laces in "bumble bee". I called it the Steelers colorway.

These are a Christmas present for a Steeler fanatic, with chilly toes.









Next up...the Cozy that will never end.


I have had the Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool for this ... for-evah! I finally got around to getting it done. (I badgered my LYS into getting it for me.) When Cozy was first published many posters commented that it was a nice relaxing knit. And that might be true. However, I may just not be in the mood for relaxing. That and I have ALL of two years of Loopy Ewe sock club yarn to get on with. Most of which will be turned into other things rather than socks. I need to go about 5 more inches to make it usable for me. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you may recall that Isadora Duncan's scarves have nothing on mine. Good thing I don't ride in convertibles.







My only concern is "what to start?" when I'm done with Cozy? I need some easily transportable knitting. (I do have a father-in-law hat for Christmas to knit, but that's pretty easy. I'm hoping I can find suitable yarn in my stash for it.) Isn't there something pathological about worrying about what to knit next?

This is my stay at home knitting......

Kauni sweater in a damask pattern. That's probably about 4 inches there. You can see the color of the yellow beginning to shift to green. I think my gauge is a "tad" off. More like 5.5/inch rather than 6/inch, but meh. It doesn't worry me enough to rip. I think I'm knitting a little loosely so that it doesn't pucker. I should probably try and tighten it up some anyway. It is really hard to tell.

I should probably stop out at my LYS to see what they think. If I need to rip back, now would be the time. This is going to take too much time and effort to be a bust.

Here's a close up.


We shall see....













And you know I just can't keep from putting in my two cents.......I am beginning to find the absolute angst about Palin hysterical. What the hell? I'm beginning to think some of these people really do need therapy.

I'm with Dennis Miller who called Palin a "tough broad" and said it would be fun to see her elected just to watch all the leftists go crazy....To see if those who are threatening to decamp to Switzerland or Italy (yeah....with all the rioting, don't they read the papers?) really do. If they feel they must, I'm going to quote Chris Christie....

Now I must get ready to travel.....again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh Hai!

Taking a break from politics or I'm probably going to blow a gasket. I am now convinced that "the public" is dumber that I ever imagined. And that they'll let anyone have a show on TV....where's Captain Kangaroo when you need him.....

So a few loosening ends.

Happy Veteran's Day to all my friends and family -- and all the veteran students here, who took time out of their lives to serve their country. Hug 'em if you got em....(ask permission first if you don't know them--just sayin').

We are currently on an "end of life watch" for a relative who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nearly a year ago. He was being aggressively treated, however, the most someone in his situation can hope for is added months. He got those, plus a few. The world is going to be a less colorful place without dear Larry. A good thought, or prayer, whichever is your habit, wouldn't come amiss for him and his family.

I am considering Lasik surgery--complications abound.

I have started the Damask Kauni sweater. I needed a boatload of help from my LYS owner, to figure out how to sweet talk the original pattern into the damask chart. The color knitting is fun though.

Finally finished the "Steeler" socks, and oooo boy...it seemed to take forever. I have no idea what the hell was going on.....

Need about 12 more inches to finish my Cozy. This seems to be the black hole of knitting. The more I knit the shorter it gets. Ever have that happen?

I know I should be posting photos of all this stuff, but I am too freakin' lazy at the moment. Work is really cutting into my knitting time lately. Ever have that happen?

Oh yeah, I LOVE Zappos! I am on the hunt for the best red skimmer....I'm on my fourth, and they just keep sending them OVERNIGHT. What I don't understand is why I'm having such trouble finding good shoes that do not hurt. These are little flats people?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Get on with it!

A message to:

Governor-elect Tom Corbett
Senator-elect Pat Toomey
[2nd Term] Representative Glenn Thompson

Congratulations. Now, time to get on with business gentlemen.



I'm watching and out of patience.

To:

Representative Joe Sestak and
Senator Bob Casey

WATCH YOUR STEP.....you two could be moving on to your life's work next. You boys have already gotten on my last nerve. I'm one of those bitter crackers clinging to my guns and religion....except, I vote independent, I don't own a gun, and I have a masters degree. Oh, yeah, I do go to church. Well one out of three.

One last thing....I was stunned that the old fart from Northeastern PA Kanjorski got booted....and high time. His challenger, the winner, Lou Barletta you may recall is the city of Hazleton mayor that took a hard line against the illegal immigrants sucking the life out of his town. (Lost the court challenge, but they are forging ahead.) You go Lou!

Last, last thing...California doesn't need to legalize marijuana. Apparently, it is already in the water supply. That is the only possible thing that explains the (re)election of Governor Moonbeam..... Way to go....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It was the best ....

..of times...

A League of Women Voter's debate outside Pittsburgh:

Quite an "unruly mob" if you ask me.

It was the worst of times:

Poop. If I wasn't so entertained, I'd tell Joe to get his money back. What the hell made him think this was a good ad.

Also please read how there are blatant false statements in the ad. How stupid do they think we are? We are not all from Altoona!! (Home of the late John Murtha, the master of obfuscation.)

But I shouldn't be surprised. In a recent ad for the governor race, the (D) candidate berated the (R) candidate for RAISING TAXES and hurting the elderly!! The problem being the (R) candidate is the current State's Attorney General, and last time I looked had absolutely nothing to do with passing financial legislation........ !!!?? And in my personal experience, his office was very aggressive in pursuing businesses who preyed on the elderly. I think they too were just hoping that people were too dumb to notice.

Really how stupid do they think people are?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eeeeewwww

Does this creep anyone else out as much as it does me?




Srsly...what the hell are they smokin' over at CNN?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My brain never stops...

...but you probably wish it would.

  • Last week I was meeting a job candidate (yes, we're filling ONE of our FIVE open positions), and was waiting in the lobby of a local establishment to escort her to dinner. No, I was not having a toddy, but I should have as you will shortly see. I pulled out my cell to make sure the ringer was off. Instead I noticed there was a voicemail. (This is strange, because I had just spoken to my DH, and hardly ANYONE else uses my cell.) Here is a paraphrase of what I heard: Hi, [name unknown], this is Michelle from [salon name unintelligible]. I just wanted to let you know I spoke to our aesthetician and she does not do "Brazilians". She does do regular bikini waxing. I've kept your appointment just in case, so if you do not want to keep it just give me a call. Thanks!!

    What can I say....but OW!! EEWWWWWW also comes to mind.

    WHO else could possibly get a stray voicemail about crotch hair!!


  • Has everyone else been winning the lottery, finding lost relatives, or being singled out to help cancer victims? Seems to me these things are on the upswing, or maybe I'm just lucky.

    Here's a sampling:

    Jennifer Wagner tells me "GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER"

    As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Mrs. Jennifer Wagner , a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer . It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

    Dear Jennifer, GOD WILL SEND YOU TO HELL FOR LYING. FOR $2 MILLION US I'LL TELL YOU HOW I KNOW!



    "Barrister" Martins Williams thinks I'm an entrepreneur, and can't spell worth a lick.

    Compliments.
    We've been trying to reach you several times without no sucesss. we are trying if this email can get into your inbox to explain our investment intentions for you.

    I am contacting you briefly based on the Investment of Two Hunred Million Dollars (US$ 200,000,000:00) in your country, as I presently have a client who is interested in investing in you to invest in your country, but he has never done business in your country before. I find it imperative to solicit for a partnership. Hence upon receipt of this letter, I implore you to kindly respond and let me know how possible it is to work with you in mutual partnership under the below conditions as follows:

    Dear Martins...go to school. Through 8th grade will at least help with your spelling.


    According to Brenda, there's a SCAM being perpetrated!! Horrors!!

    The SPANISH HIGH COMMISSION in France, Portugal, Sweden and Germany received a report of scam against you and other British/US and Malaysian citizens, Etc. The countries of France, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Britian and United States have recompensated you following the meeting held with the countries' Government and various countries' high commission for the fraudulent activities carried out by the countries' Citizens.
    Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Spain Financial Intelligent Unit (SFIU). Compensation has been issued out in Certified Bank Drafts to all the affected victims and has been already been in distribution to all the bearers. Your draft was among those that were reported undelivered as at on Friday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your draft immediately.


    Brenda wants me to keep this a secret, because apparently there is a hit to be placed on squealers.Dear Brenda, You can reach me at CIA headquarters.


    Finally the piece of resistance:


    This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds (GBP 500,000.00) for 2010 Prize promotion which is Offered by Coca-Cola Company of England.
    Coca-Cola collects all the e-mail addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo! and Hotmail and few from other e-mail providers. Six people are selected monthly to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.

    PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
    Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Coca-Cola Prize Award must be claimed no la! ter than 21 days from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.



    As a bonus this had Coke logos splashed all over it!

    Dear Cherry, Get a job. A real job. Not here. Anywhere but here.


So what's the deal? Does ANYONE respond to this crap any more? Are they getting more frequent, or am I just losing it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On my mind....

Some things I think, I think...

  • Why is it that I'm at work in hose with a wool shawl, and see students walking around wearing honest-to-God sundresses or shorts and T-shirts? What am I missing? This is not Gainsville.
  • Why is it that these same half-dressed students think that if they walk in front of my moving (albeit slowly) 2000 lb vehicle, and they don't even glance in my direction that I'm really not there? Do they think this is an oasis, and I am a mirage?
  • Why is it that people (read: politicians) think if they repeat something (over-and-over) enough, it magically becomes "true"? Trust me, if you can't prove it, it ain't "true".
  • Why is it that I find people (this may include presenters, artists, musicians, knitters, etc.), who for no apparent reason, and completely out of context, inject their political opinion/agenda into their work, gauche? I can be perfectly happy reading something, or listening to something, and then they "fall off the wagon with a "comment" sometimes subtly, sometimes not. Why do they think I care what they think any more then they care what I think. (Actually, here's some blow back DO NOT read Sweater Quest: The Year of Knitting Dangerously.)
  • Most importantly, Kindle or Nook?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gotta Love Dennis Miller...

..... he described the Delaware senate election as

"Bewitched vs Bewildered"

Gotta love it.

Which brings me to a curious thing. I saw a DE senate election advertisement this morning on TV. People this is Central PA....not even Southeastern PA, which maybe would make sense. We are closer to Maryland and West Virginia, but even that's a stretch. Hummmmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A little of this....n'at.

We've been busy...so busy, I'm exhausted. We have spent the past three out of four weekends out of town...where I'm sure you're wondering (said in a sarcastic tone, I know it isn't important).....

Well, first I have to show you the wine we drank on vacation:


Who doesn't love a cheap wine with a llama on the label? And with a name like Funky Llama. Well.....

It is from Chili. It was all of $3.99 in a PA State Store (so you know it was cheap). We were not crazy about the shiraz, but the pinot grigio wasn't bad. And the entertainment was in the label anyway.










The rest of the time was spent at a music festival then hiking.

This is Pine Creek. It was blistering hot, but much cooler in the woods. We spent most of the time trying to photograph the raptors that were soaring over the "canyon".

Those two specks in the center of the frame are a pair of hawks who were playing.


















We saw many hawks, which I cannot identify, a turkey vulture which was a first, and what we think was a juvenile bald eagle. There are nesting eagle pairs in this area, so it is not unusual to see an eagle...for some people. For us it was another first.

We had a weekend off, then went to visit my mother for a surprise 80th birthday party. She had spent about 6 weeks trying to convince us that she was "too old" and "too decrepit" for a party, so don't bother. We didn't bother to tell her and she had a great time. Does this lady look too old and decrepit to anyone?

I think not! Notice the snazzy purse. Hardly that of a little old lady. Sheesh

We had the party at the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs. My sister was having second thoughts during the prior week of inviting elderly people to a casino (for brunch), but trust me...as soon as it was polite, the elderly guests were heading to the slots. So a good time was had by all whether it was for food, drink or to feed the one-armed bandits.....

This was my first trip to the "local casino" and I learned a lot. Like why casinos are a cash cow for the states and local towns. And the number of jobs it creates! And that there is too much noise and too many blinking lights for me. It was a stunning day outside, and we had folks following us to our car to get our parking space so they could go inside in the loud, flashing dark to gamble. No recession here.....

This past weekend was spent outlet shopping. All I can say is that if there is a recession...I didn't see it here either. Our hotel was a madhouse on Sunday morning of families going to Hershey Park (supposedly the "sweetest place on earth".... but more like, "where you can have a nervous breakdown and no one will notice"....but that doesn't look good in advertising... not catchy enough.) And when did it become deriguer for parents to ignore their offspring, or send them to get their own breakfast in a crowd of people in a public place? These are little people, and this is not your kitchen!! Sheesh....parenting people, parenting!!

Anyone remember the Kauni/cardigan (Rav link) craze of 2007? As is the case with so many "knitting fads", it was kicked off by the Yarn Harlot. Folks were purchasing Kauni from Denmark and translating the pattern...etc. For some reason I loved that sweater with the white hot passion that only a knitter can understand, but I thought it was too much of a PIA (and too expensive) to order the yarn from Denmark. I'm also not really a lemming (French Press Slippers aside). Well, last month my LYS got Kauni, and reignited my romance with the cardigan...but now, thanks to Ravelry I have become acquainted with the damask pattern. So I couldn't resist:




I will be making the damask patterned sweater. I will also be joining a sweater knitting group for the steeking and patterning support. As Cynthia from the LYS says..."there's a lot going on in this sweater. "

I may be crazy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Affordability is in the framing...

You remember the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yeah, I'm sure you do....we're going to be a healthy and cheap utopia, remember? If you don't you're forgiven. You're probably blocking....

Well it's here...In the runup to the 2014 implementation, health insurance companies are making sure that they can fulfill the outlandish mandates, and stay afloat...all the while without having to compete. Here's what it has gotten me for 2011:

Heath care payroll deduction: up 10% (whew, could have been more)
Deductible: up 250% (yes that is correct-it is a newly instituted deductible, you do the math)
Coinsurance for ALL procedures & tests: up 100% (see above, this can also be called a co-pay)
Co-pay for specialist office visits: up 33% (I should explain here that because we are in a rural area, many specialists also practice as internists, so you pay the higher rate even if it is a routine non-specialty visit.)
ED (ER) treatment: up 100%

This delightful package was announced with great fanfare in a cheery envelope telling me that preventive programs will stay the same.

A more austere letter about a month ago explained that the "users" of health services would shoulder the costs for those services (my words). I think it can be translated as a "gouge the sick" policy. That idiot Grayson may have been prescient. And please don't get me started on the upward spiral of fees that medical institutions will begin to charge to improve the "reasonable and customary" fee table for both insurance companies and Medicare (if they're still accepting MC, that is).

So here we are....in the worst economy in 30 years, with salaries stagnating, I can't even begin to figure out how far behind this will put us.

Thank you, Mr. President, Congress, and all you know-it-alls who wouldn't listen to the will of the people. I will not forget this November.

ETA: HA! Our electronic newsletter just arrived describing our "plan" and it included this statement:

Legislation, such as health care reform, will cost employers and employees more as required changes are implemented now and through the next several years.

Tell me again how it isn't going to cost the middle class more.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Re-entry is a b&*ch!

It took all of about 40 minutes to feel like I hadn't left. And daily it is getting worse because classes are starting next week, the traffic is horrific, and the invaders are gravitating back. We have a love-hate relationship with the students. If they mostly behaved like the adults they are supposed to be, well, it would be fine. However, when the bad driving, urination in parking lots start again, well, you quickly forget the positives.

Each year when we take some time off, we make an accidental trip to somewhere. By accidental, I mean we are actually going somewhere else, and the plan falls through. This year we were headed to Steeler Camp, but a late start, and road construction season here in PA conspired to make the trip not worth while (that day). So about 15 minutes west of Altoona, we decided to turn around, and spend the day in Altoona, and maybe go to the Curve game in the evening. Must. Be. Flexible.

Well, we got off an exit on I99 to turn around and there was a sign, "Horseshoe Curve 7 miles". For the uninitiated, the Horseshoe Curve is mecca for train enthusiasts. (And the Altoona Curve is named for this engineering wonder.) During WWII it was on a Nazi sabotage list.

I am making it my business to go to places, in my own backyard, that I've never been to, and that visitors come to all the time. Visitors actually stay at a nearby inn just yards from the train tracks so they can sit on the porch and watch trains. They set up serious looking cameras to take pictures. It's amazing.

So when we saw the sign, we said "let's go". The best times turn out to be those that are unexpected and unscripted. I'm sure of it.

It was a hoot!! We were there nearly 3 hours, and I would never have believed that watching freight trains would be so entertaining. Seriously. (I grew up with a dad who had about six complete sets of the original Lionel trains, that he set up in a room sized display. As a kid my brother had the "train bug". I forgot that it was probably in my genetics.) So we walked up the nearly 200 stairs to the observation park, brought our lunch, and watched the trains wrap around us, going both east and west. It was So. Much. Fun. (Keep in mind that I'm easily entertained.)

This is the view from the park looking east. We had to walk up the steps because the funicular wasn't running. There was a sign in the window of the gift shop to
alert customers to that fact.











A view of the funicular from the top.

















Didn't think you were going to get away without seeing a train or two did you? This shot shows a locomotive coming up hill from the east and shows the curve. You are actually standing in the center of the horseshoe, and the trains run around you- up and down the mountain.









The engineers usually wave to folks standing by the tracks....which led us to the discussion of what do modern day train engineers actually do? Neither of us have any idea. (If you click to full size you can see the engineer waving.)










This is the train running past the curve, and heading west.












It was a grand time, and I am still kinda stunned by how much fun this actually was. And to leave you with my favorite train car....


Seriously...this is not an animal carrier, so who knows what this is supposed to mean......

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

And just when you thought it was safe...

I've finally finished my long sleeve CeCe, and here's a photo. Don't mind the hair...I've since had a haircut ... and I'm not scaring small children anymore. At least not with my hair. Also don't mind the fact that a burgundy sweater DOES NOT match a tobacco brown skirt and a bright orange t-shirt. I took the photo, with my timer before work one morning.

CeCe by Bonne Marie Burns
Her sizing is spot on...just make sure you swatch. She uses cotton a lot, so also make sure you wash. This is Classic Elite Four Seasons. I don't know if they make it anymore. It is 70/30 cotton wool. You will notice that it is longer in the body...and the sleeves are long, rather than 3/4. I like 3/4 sleeves, but I felt I would use this more if I made the sleeves long. You will also notice, that the V isn't as deep...that was not by design, but by a pleasant coincidence.

Also, on Bonne's suggestion I didn't put in a button hole. Instead I used hooks and eyes and then decided it needed "something". I bought this hook at JoAnn Fabrics. I think I like it.


So.... CeCe by Bonne Marie Burns
About 11 skeins of Classic Elite Four Seasons.
I needed to go down one needle size, which I always seem to have to do with cotton. If you swatch and get gauge, Bonne's dimensions are spot on.

Mods: I lengthened the body by 1.5 inches, and it grew a bit more with blocking. I reworked the sleeves, with help from Bonne. She asked that I not share her sleeve stitch counts etc. But if you contact her, I'm sure she'll be happy to assist. I modified them further than her suggestions, however, because I felt the sleeves were too sloppy for my long, skinny monkey arms.

Here's a hint I can share. When you need to sew accoutrement on your knitwear, use embroidery floss. (I also use this to repair sweaters.) you can always get a color to match, and I think it holds up better.

I am going to do something I rarely do, and post a WIP. This is what I will be working on next week when I'm out of the office gearing up for the invasion two weeks from today. (It can't be!! Summer just started!)


On the left is my just started Cozy. I have lots more fascinating shawl patterns to knit, but I've had the yarn for this for, shucks, probably, at least, five years. It was one of the first wraps that interested me. I felt it had marinated enough, and though I could have used the Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool for something else, I felt this was fated and should be completed. I'm also trying to knit up some of my stash yarn. I don't have tons, but I'd like to use it up in some way.

The sock, the sock....I've been hauling this sock around all summer. No idea when I started it. This is a "bed sock" for Mr. KnB. (Yes, those cold winter nights are right around the corner.) You might notice it is also a Steeler sock. I finally finished the toe yesterday, and now have to start the second. I certainly hope it doesn't take me as much time. I kinda didn't follow the pattern on this sock, but did make notes, so I hope I can replicate the second one (at least so no one will notice). This is a pattern I've used numerous times in the past I got it here. This knitter was regularly posting when I first got back into knitting 6 years ago, but as you can see, doesn't so much any more. However, she was a very talented sock designer. I'm using Lorna's Laces for these socks, and though I like the yarn, I don't understand the hoopla about it. I like Dream in Color, Bugga, and others just as well, if not better. I had to up the pattern count by a repeat for these socks, and I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but now the sock looks huge to me. Other mods as well, but I'll figure out how to account for those later.

So that's where I am. I'm also itching to start Miss BB. (There's a story here too, that involves stash yarn and purchasing more with a different dye lot, and how that will work, but it will have to wait.) If I make some Cozy progress, I may in fact start her, before I hit the ground running again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Housekeeping...

Attention, attention, it has occurred to me that I responded to several "commentors" in the past few months by responding to email that blogger sends......I now suspect that I've been an idiot and the commentor has probably not received my email. Also unless I've corresponded with said commentors in the past, I have no email address....

So in the interests of not being rude, Chrisknits asked for my "beet recipe". This is what I sent into the ether, through Blogger......

I used an approximation of this recipe:


http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/roasted-beets-and-sauteed-beet-greens/Detail.aspx

It took over an hour for the beets to roast in the oven. I may try it again with smaller beets, and microwave them for a bit first.


The other odd thing was some of the cooked leftover white beets turned blackish (like a peeled potato) by the next day. I don't know why that would be. Maybe they weren't done enough?


I drizzled balsamic vinegar on em.....yum.


If somehow this message got through...feel free to let me know.

Thanks for your attention!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Delusional or Dumb ....

.... your call.

Back in February I posted this rant:

If I hear one more Democratic congress person, liberal talking head, candidate or any of these other "do-not-know-it-alls" tell me that; "The public doesn't understand the (health care) bill"; " We need to explain it better."; "The public REALLY wants this bill." I'm gonna toss my cookies. For the record--are all you thick heads listening: I have a master's degree in a science/math field; I can read and understand content that would make your little pea brains 'splode; I can write in no less than 5 computer languages; I get really ticked when I'm patronized and marginalized. I do not need any more explanations. I need to have a bill produced and posted for WEEKS before voting, so I can digest the contents--and not on Christmas Eve. I am tired of dirty tricks, secret meetings, union kick-back, big pharma deals, and all the rest of it. While I hold out NO hope that these "things" will end, I will settle for having the opportunity to actually peruse the legislation at my leisure.

Now it can be told. It was posted in response to hearing Sestak on Ingram's radio program. She asked him how he could possibly vote for the "health" care bill when his constituents were were polling solidly against it. He responded that "people don't understand it", if they did, they'd want it.....I don't usually hear Ingram's program, and that a rep from PA was on was serendipitous. Being called ignorant just threw me off the hoop.

Who's ignorant now, Joe?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On sock puppets and other stuff.....

I think that Dennis Miller is probably the funniest guy on the planet. He rarely expresses malice, but is real high on the snark-o-meter...a man after my own heart. He called Biden a "sock-puppet in a power tie". Seriously....I couldn't stop laughing. Sorry, but I'm still chuckling about it. (He does kinda resemble a sock puppet.) I suspect that based on what I know about Biden, he seems pretty secure ego-wise, he'd probably think it was pretty funny too.

I'm having monkey mind about starting another shawlette/scarf, because you know, ninety degree weather is the perfect weather to knit something one wears around the neck. I also think it means I have too many choices, and too much lovely yarn at my disposal. Yikes!! If I get off my lazy backside this weekend maybe I'll photograph all the choices, and see if that helps. Maybe ya'll can vote to help me.

At a farmer's market on Tuesday evening, I stopped at a booth that was selling yarn, Tamarack Farm. As I was longingly fingering a beautiful 3-ply, fingering/sport weight natural, charcoal colored skein, the proprietor commented "You can always spot a serious knitter. They have no problem feeling up the wool in this weather." It was lovely, and not unreasonably priced. About $8.50 for 188 yards. I'm thinking it might make really warm socks for my DH, who has a, seemingly, deadly fear of cold feet. (But he hates hot weather too. Don't know what to make of this.) I'm just not sure how much yarn I should get. Maybe I should consult one of my sock knitting references...duh. I'm thinking I should get three skeins. I'm guessing a #2, or #3, needle and 400+ yards for a decent pair of male socks, average foot length.

Sometimes I think that I have to illustrate the ....um....odd environment we have here. This is what one sees at the Tuesday night farmer's market in Boalsburg.

Notice anything unusual?

Yes, Virginia, that's a tank. Because I am not a WW scholar, I can't tell you if it is WWI or WWII, however, it is a real, decommissioned tank. (And before any commenter mentions it, yes there is a plaque, but I didn't want to walk back because the weather was threatening.) As I took this shot, I had my back to two 50 foot long anti-aircraft guns from the Battleship Pennsylvania.

We here in Central PA are not expecting an invasion, at least not a hostile invasion. (Our invaders wear sneakers and flip-flops and carry smart phones.) This particular farmer's market is held on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. As is usually the case with residents, I've lived about five miles from this museum, share my life with a vet, and have never visited the place. I'm a bad girl. Yes, indeed.

As I was browsing the other wares at the market I happened upon a farmer selling beets. Now I've not been a total beet convert (my experience limited to the kind pickled in jars) but I've been seeing recipes that included sauteed greens (with bacon, can anything with bacon be bad?) so I decided to purchase a bunch. The fellow had three kinds - red, pink, and white (they all had specific varietal names, but....whatever) and I was vacillating undecided. I finally asked for the "pink" and, I think, because he was overwhelmed with beets, he asked if I'd like to try A white beet. Sure I said....he hesitated for a second, and said, here...take a whole bunch. I offered to pay him for the white bunch, but he refused. Nice man..."beeten" down I guess. (HA HA). The story doesn't end there however, my life is never without a complication, I now have two huge bunches of beets sticking up in the back of the Forester. I go to pick up my hubby from his office. He gets in and I say..."hey, guess what? I bought us some fresh beets at the farmers market." His response...."I hate beets". Sigh....I am now beginning to be "beeten" down myself. But the white beets are delicious - very sweet. And I was right about the bacon......

Friday, July 09, 2010

Knitting at last...

...ya' know, I've been knitting really truly....but progress has been deadly slow.

I've had two regular projects going, but because I'm not inclined to take "in-progress" photos, well, there aren't any. I'm slogging along on another CeCe, and it's been slow going. Not because of the pattern, but because of the changes I made to it. I was marooned on sleeve island for A REAL LONG TIME....but, now I'm past the sleeves and am in, what I hope, is the home stretch. My purse knitting is a sock...it's been my purse knitting FOREVER, because I ripped the foot back once. Was lookin' too big and floppy. So eventually, I'll get past my sock.

In the meantime, I may have nearly finished my Christmas, in July, knitting:



OMG NOOOOOO!!! She's knit yet another pair of French Press Felted Slippers....yes, my friends I'm afraid I did.

The red pair is for my sister. Who I hope hasn't found this blog, yet. The last of the Super Bowl Sunday Sale Lamb's Pride.






This is a [poor] closeup of the button:

Pretty, no? I'm still trying to figure out how to use the macro feature well. Maybe I should read the instructions? Nah!

I'm a tad nervous about the fit of these. They may actually have felted too short in the heel. I'm not sure how that happened. But if it is an issue, I'll just make her another pair. I'm also debating about the anti-slip puffy paint on the sole, but I'll just let her decide. She does have mostly hardwood floors, so it will probably be a yes.



I didn't fuss with the quality of the photo, because it was HOT outside. Not triple digits hot, but in the 90's. And because it's July, and it is 90, it must be "Art's Festival" actually it's two competing art festivals in our little "burg". So every person on the east coast is here. Or it feels that way. I work downtown and apparently visitors forget that we...the worker bees are still here -toiling away, when they dash across the streets in front of our vehicles, and stand in the middle of the sidewalks, blocking all access.

Sigh...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, I live in Wild Kingdom...

....why do you ask.

It is very common around here to have to stop in the middle of a busy, main thoroughfare for a duck parade. Usually a mamma with a line of 10 or so babies marching behind her. Very often it is mystifying where exactly they are going because there are seemingly no ponds or streams in the vicinity. The following situation is also not uncommon......

No duck left behind....

Prosecuting bad guys is not the DA's only job.......

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You know .....

... you live in a small town when this is news!!

I guess I shouldn't complain.

Read the comments....priceless.

Friday, June 25, 2010

And just when you thought it was safe...

....it's Just Shut Up Friday!

This is just too easy...like shooting fish in a barrel.

To quote an acquaintance:

Turn off NPR, take your head out of your bag of chips for 10 seconds and look at a map!



Yes, Peggy, Arizona is a border state.

Dem county supervisor: Arizona’s law might have been justifiable if it was a border state

For the record--we are living in an age where ANYONE in the public eye does not get a pass on the stupid stuff they say. Please think carefully about making idiotic statements in public. Trust me when I tell you, that this is not the 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol had in mind.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey "Just shut up Thursday" is making a comback!

..... nice when one actually confirms their own irrelevancy....

Gloria who?

Thanks for that! You can go away [again] now--and just shut up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some people ....

... have multiple knitting projects, and can't resist starting yet another. (I have multiple projects, but generally finish one before I embark on another, unless I put one in "time out".)

... feel the need to have one of every sweater design/color on the planet (and you know who you are!) Most frequently heard wail "But I don't have ANYTHING like this!!

... some people think that a collection of baseball caps is the most essential element of any wardrobe.

... some people think that T-shirts with slogans are appropriate office attire. (I just threw this in because we've been discussing "fashioned challenged" colleagues recently.)

... then there is me. I am "involved" with no less that THREE novels. Concurrently. Really.

  • First there is the audio book I'm knitting by....The Help by Stockett. I highly recommend this book and the audio is fabulous. There are several actors voicing the characters, and they truly come to life. There is most definitely a movie in this book's future.

  • Next there is a Kindle book that I have loaded to my iPod. I have the iPod Kindle app, and it works beautifully. I found that I can read the iPod when I don't have anything else with me, or it is dark. Like in a hotel room when "my roommate" is still sleeping. This is a Kellerman book Self-Defense. I find Kellerman's books are inconsistent. Some are terrific, some eh. They have the feel of true crime about them, in a novel. I'm liking this one a lot.

  • Then last, but not least, there is a real live print book. I love me the feel of books with pages, I don't care anything about the other technologies......this is a Carol Goodman book, The Night Villa. I sorta got hooked on Goodman after reading The Seduction of Water. I like her use of "language". I can't explain it, but a much more "literary" colleague said the same thing--independently no less. Her books always have a "water feature", and she is deeply invested in Greek, and other, mythology. Don't let that put you off though. In addition to Seduction, I've read The Lake of Dead Languages, and The Drowning Pool (see the water thing?) and not a dog in the bunch. The one I'm reading now, may be my favorite so far--and yes there is water involved here too. I was at the library yesterday, and picked up her The Sonnet Lover, it doesn't come in paper, and I wanted to read it, and am not thrilled with hauling hard covers around. So that will be up next.


The question I began to ponder is how the hell am I doing this, and seemingly keeping everything in order (I mean in my brain of course.) Maybe because these three are so very different, I'm not having bizarre crossover dreams.....but it is still odd, no?

So those are my book reviews for the moment. If you want some complex reading I can highly recommend "The Girl with..." trilogy, even though I'm still resisting the last of the series until I can savor it on vacation.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Remember when I wrote....

.... this

Well...now there's this.....

Point, set, match......

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Catchup ....

  1. I thought I'd be finished with one of my two WIP. I took some time off at the end of May (it was a use it or lose it situation, I rarely find myself there), and helped my mom with some stuff. I wish I could say it was a lovely altruistic exercise, but it was not. I regret to say that my mom is "maturing" into a difficult person.

    I also took some time off to plant annuals for my MIL as her Mother's Day gift. She's pushing 92, with a new hip, and is perking right along. I don't know how she does it. She is not "maturing" into a difficult person, though her daughter could possibly disagree with that statement.


  2. Anyway, the time off did not help with my WsIP. I find myself going days without knitting. Last evening I was waiting in the car, on a divine summer day, and literally fell asleep knitting a row on a pair of socks. The universe is clearly trying to tell me something.


  3. What are the odds that I will be able to refrain from starting The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, until vaca in August? I just finished The Girl Who Played With Fire, and was left with an extraordinary cliff hanger. (Could this be why my WsIP have suffered? Hummmm?)


  4. Speaking of cliff hangers, I also just finished (audio), an Echo In The Bone. Yikes. What a story! And the next installment won't be around for at least two, or better, years. Frankly, this might be my favorite of all the books, though I really liked Outlander. I have a "thing" for revolutionary war history, so all the historical detail (though most were fictionalized) really rowed my boat.


  5. This week my snit revolves around Comcast Cable. They are forcing us to convert to digital. (I'm still using my VCR regularly, and this pretty much eliminates the usefulness of that technology. Ticks me off royally.) Anyway, it turns out that we receive cable through our condo association, and much like a hotel, HBO is shown on a NOT digital channel. The free converters they give you will not allow us to receive HBO, even though we PAY for it. So in order to continue HBO we have to PAY for the service (which we already do) and PAY for the upgraded digital box. Huh? Does this make sense? I'm already paying a premium, I've gotten this service as is for 20 years (literally), and now I have to pay more for the same thing? Srsly!!

    So, I cajoled , got nasty, found that most of the customer service people I spoke to weren't even born when we began getting HBO, and finally am getting upgraded service for less that we are paying now. Except, our boxes refuse to recognize the signals the company is sending, and insist that they are not "legally" connected. I must add that our oldest TV, which is adjacent to our exercise machine, has a digital box (needed to get Versus last year), and I installed it with no problem.....though we didn't get HBO on it. So I am not a happy Comcast customer. Today a tech is coming to sort this out, and my convenience has to be between 1:00 and 5:00, how the hell is that my convenience? Sheesh!


  6. Congrats to the Blackhawks!! I regret to say that I missed the winning goal. Of course, so did most of the Blackhawks, and all the Flyers, except for the goalie.

Friday, May 21, 2010

If I were president ....

... and a state passed a law that concerned me. Here's what I'd do.

  1. I'd READ it thoroughly.
  2. I'd get on the shoe phone to my AG and say, "Have one of the elves evaluate the federal statute with regard to this law, and write up a comparison. I want it in 48 hours."
  3. "In addition, have the elves search case law for applicable cases and decisions. I hear there's this thing called LexisNexis (ETA: As per Bezzie--Thanks!). Write me a short report, and talking points and put in on the teleprompter."
If I did this, here is what I would have found out in 48 hours max:

That the federal statute gives far more latitude to law enforcement than the Arizona law AND that the Arizona law actually codifies the "no profiling" restriction, which which federal law doesn't.

Think the federal law is a lawsuit waiting to happen? Well, you're late.

MUEHLER V. MENA (03-1423) 544 U.S. 93 (2005)
332 F.3d 1255, vacated and remanded.


The Supreme Court found in a .... are you sitting down....9 to 0 decision (even Bader Ginsburg crusty liberal that she is, concurred), that the federal law is constitutional, and that law enforcement does not need a reason to ask for proper identification and proof of residency. This case revolved around unlawful search and seizure, and is very clear.

Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote the opinion...not majority opinion, mind you...the OPINION.

Read paragraph 14:

The Court of Appeals also determined that the officers violated Mena’s Fourth Amendment rights by questioning her about her immigration status during the detention. 332 F.3d, at 1264—1266. This holding, it appears, was premised on the assumption that the officers were required to have independent reasonable suspicion in order to question Mena concerning her immigration status because the questioning constituted a discrete Fourth Amendment event. But the premise is faulty. We have “held repeatedly that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure.” Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 434 (1991); see also INS v. Delgado, 466 U.S. 210, 212 (1984). “[E]ven when officers have no basis for suspecting a particular individual, they may generally ask questions of that individual; ask to examine the individual’s identification; and request consent to search his or her luggage.” Bostick, supra, at 434—435 (citations omitted). As the Court of Appeals did not hold that the detention was prolonged by the questioning, there was no additional seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Hence, the officers did not need reasonable suspicion to ask Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status.

Once I saw this, I'd shut up. Or have my word smith elves construct a line or two that I could use that would not put me in an awkward position. (Mostly because I "like" law enforcement almost as much as I "like" the military, and can't seem to be able to keep this fact under wraps.) I'd then tell my minions to keep their opinions to themselves unless they could come up with grounds that wouldn't suck us down like quicksand..... I have no problems with pragmatists.

I would like to request that our elected officials, particularly those who are supposed to be smarter than God, understand the actual laws of the country they are supposed to be representing. Is that asking too much? (This debacle makes W looks like Einstein.)

Oh and ACLU....Game on!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yes we can!!!!


Hey hey hey good-by!

This morning on the way to work I asked my husband if I should send an "I told you so message" to Arlen, the ultimate opportunist. You may recall that when I wrote to him, in fury, about his support of the "health care" bull, I ended with how he should enjoy his last term in the senate, because he was "outta there". My husband, in an uncharacteristic charitable moment, said no. He's a better man than I. Just an FYI, switching parties wasn't the issue. Selling his soul to Obama et.al., as part of the switch was the real problem. The citizens of our commonwealth always expected Arlen to do their bidding, and most of the time he did. When he didn't this time around....he was destined for failure. Perfect faustian ending.

I should add here, that I'm an "unaffiliated voter" and we have closed primaries in PA. Just as in the presidential primary when I almost registered as a Dem to vote against Hillary (who now looks like a stellar choice, my how times have changed), I very nearly did it this time too. But decided against it. It looks like, unless he really screws up, Toomey can beat either of them. (I'm not completely sold on him either, but hell I'm looking at the lesser evils now.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Big FAIL!!

Complete Collapse!!

It's going to be a long two and a half months ..... until Steeler camp!

Aside: It's not that I don't like baseball, but the Pirates are so god awful. And their owner, prince that he is, refuses to sell to the Lemieux ownership group. At least then the team would have a sporting chance......

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm an idiot....

... you can't be shocked! For the second time in as many sleeves I've made the same error. Really. I'm knitting Bonne Marie's CeCe. This is the second time around, and I'm making long sleeves. (B. Marie helped me with converting 3/4 to long. If you would like advice, please email Bonne directly. She's aces.) It is a nice knit. However, for some reason I keep forgetting to size up my needle from the cuff ribbing to the sleeve lace. Duh. I am starting my second sleeve prior to finishing my first because I'm making a minor change in the design. So rather than ripping the first before I'm sure about what I'm doing, I decided to start the second. I've already made this mistake on the first sleeve. It is inconceivable that I forgot this time AGAIN! This sweater will be wearable long about November at this rate.

Just so you know that my pace is not glacial "just because", I did complete this in the meantime:

I made one of these a year ago and gave it as a gift. I had lots of pearls left over, and wanted one of my own. I finally sat down and over a couple weekends, finished the bugger.

This is constructed of size 6 beads (with the delightful name of cream soda) in a peyote stitch bracelet, and a variety of freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. The crystals are nestled among the pearls in the clasp, and are hard to see in the photo.






You can see some of the crystals if you look closely - they are peridot and amethyst.

In fact, I reconstructed this a second time too. I made it too long and the pearl clasp rolled around my wrist. I hate that.








So along I knit. I have a pair of socks and a sweater, that seem to be going nowhere.....Why is that? And surprise!! I have another pair of French Press Slippers ready to be stitched together and felted. Might be a good hockey game project.

Go Pens...please put the Habs away tonight!! Please!!

Friday, May 07, 2010

I probably should explain....

... the women's movement rant.

It was engendered (no pun intended) by the ....ummm disgusting situation with Steeler's quarterback, Roethlisburger. Apparently, he has never been known as "Mr. Nice Guy", under the best of circumstances, but in the 'Burgh, keep your nose clean, and nobody much cares. The residents hold the "nice guy" athletes (Joe Greene, Jack Lambert (can you imagine?), Mario Lemieux, Franco Harris, Willy Starzel, way too many to name) near and dear to their hearts. But the bad eggs...meh. That is unless you turn into a really bad actor - which has a pretty low threshold in the 'Burgh -ask Plaxico and most recently Santonio. Roethlisburger is on thin, thin ice, let me tell you. That's the back story.

The other part of the context is where I currently live, a college town (which is emptying out even as we speak, it becomes almost livable for the next 75 or so days). If you live in South Bend, Ann Arbor, or Chapel Hill, I expect you know EXACTLY from whence I speak.

When the details of Roethlisburger's (hereafter referred to as "the Idiot") situation became public. I shook my head. I know those women. The underage partiers who CHOOSE (important point) to go out and binge drink. They don't care if they drink too much, and some do it systematically. Meaning--that is their intent. They go out in a posse, and drink themselves stupid. They figure as long as they are not driving they will be safe. (Here, lately, the authorities have been cracking down hard on establishments serving underage drinkers, but the overage drinkers are no smarter.)

Enter the Idiot (and others of his ilk), these women are not just easy pickin's because they are intoxicated (by choice), they literally are asking for sexual contact. And here is where the victim/participant line gets totally blurred and why this is nothing short of head shaking time. Before, a woman could be accused of leading someone on if she 1) wore short skirts; 2) tight clothing that showed her "endowments"; 3) drank too much; 4) flirted.... Everyone can probably come to some agreement that these behaviors, while not smart, and show a lack of personal respect, do not invite sexual assault, in and of themselves.

However, what to make of this?
The 20-year-old GCSU student and others in her group of sorority sisters were wearing name tags of a sexual nature—the accuser's read dtf, short for Down to F---. Witnesses said the woman was visibly intoxicated at Capital City, and one told police that the accuser had been "obsessed" with Roethlisberger's arrival in town.
Now I have no idea what really happened. And frankly, at this point, I'm too disgusted to care. You can read the SI story for yourselves and see if you can figure it out. However, envision what this DA saw in his report:

A visibly drunk student, wearing a profane invitation, and according to heresay, "obsessed" with the accused, is now claiming sexual assault. What a superb witness! I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV, but I can hear the cross examination now....can't you? What choice did he have in the absence of physical evidence? But according to the feminist movement, this person is still a victim. Of sexual assault? Maybe...but we'll never know for sure. What we do know is that there are lots of victims of stupidity in this story.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The fun .....stuff

Some people just know how to have a good time!!

Michelle the Knitting Lady

When I sent this link to Mr. KB, all he wanted to know was how she was able to get all those tickets!! (I want to know how she got a photo op with Mario!)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

That was then...this is now...

That was then...it was the mid-70's we were female, in college, and the "women's movement" was just showing the signs of coming to fruition. We were indoctrinated that we could do anything and everything....be a mom, have a career, marry a guy who could cook and do housework, and help with the kids.....nirvana awaited. (Never mind that I somehow grew up in a traditional family that didn't hold with traditional gender roles, and I never realized that I couldn't be an engineer or a veterinarian.) And I never even considered burning any piece of my underwear.

This is now...a woman of modest birth and education rises to a high political position as the governor of the largest state in the union. In that position she has a 15 billion dollar budget, control over the state national guard, and 15,000 state police. While in office, she arm wrestles big oil into providing stipends for state residents. She is a mother to 5 children, one with special needs (when she choses to continue the pregnancy). She has a hottie hubby who, probably along with nannies--let's be realistic, handles the kids when necessary. She hits the national stage, and what's the first criticism the icons of the women's movement level? Is it her policies? Is it fact based critiques of how state money was spent? Deficit spending? Nope! Women like Gloria Steinem and Sally Quinn, old guards of the women's movement, criticize her mothering of her children.

This is where the push for equality of women has brought us? Really? Haven't come too far have we ladies? Politics aside (whether one likes her or not), this is what women criticize? That she gave birth to a Down child because her personal stance is anti-abortion? Idiots.

That was then ... women were embarrassed and treated badly by authorities when they were sexually assaulted, especially when the abuser was an "acquaintance". They were blamed for leading him on, acting provocatively etc. The result was many perps were never punished. Women who were abused in this way, first by the criminal, then by the authorities, were debilitated for many years, if not forever. These kinds of scars are hard to overcome. The women's movement demanded better treatment for victims of sexual assault. Victims, but women in particular, were endowed with power to bring these criminals to justice. However, along with this power comes a responsibility, and some women didn't get the memo.

This is now... women are getting the sequence wrong. Somehow instead of understanding that one needs to respect oneself, that power is in the way one carries oneself through life (and this has nothing to do with short skirts, and ho' shoes), our younger, and probably elderly like me, women think that they have no responsibility to act like they actually respect themselves. They get snot snorting drunk and then couldn't identify an elephant in a nursery let alone someone who might have hurt them. But that's apparently OK. They willingly crawl into bed naked with someone (drunk or not), "do not say no" to the act, then decide it was rape after the fact - when the guilt sets in. (I wish I were making this up.) Our daughters have decided that it is OK to consciously act any way they want, then run to mommy and daddy judge (instead of mommy and daddy), and plead assault. Where are the strong women who make good decisions, keep control of their actions, and when they don't, take responsibility for them?

The upshot, of course, is that real, serious sexual crime, which is not as uncommon as I'd like, is tainted with this frivolous crap.

This is not popular of course. Victims advocates will find this appalling. However, because of our location, this is not an unheard of scenario. I am not talking about the woman who goes out for a few drinks, meets a guy, and gets ambushed on the walk to her apartment. I am not talking about the individual who leaves her window open on a hot night, and a lunatic crawls in her window and threatens her with a hammer. (Really happened. He's locked up for good, thanks to the victim's brave testimony.)

We, alas, have raised a generation of wimps. Where are the strong women who when they are harassed by another individual step up and tell the harasser that they're going to "rip their arm off and beat them over the head with the bloody stump", if they do not cease and desist, and in a loud enough voice to attract attention and embarrass the hell out of them? Where are they? I can not be the only one....

But we have to draw the line somewhere. Women who do not take themselves seriously, do a disservice to all the rest of us. Women who try to diminish others on their personal choices, rather than public action, do a disservice too. That's what the women's movement should have taught us.

Big fail!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The short version... believe it or not

... of my ankle....

Last week I had a business dinner at a local restaurant. Mr. KB and I drive together in the morning, I drop him off at his office, and I keep the car at mine. (I do nearly all the extraneous shopping...anyone who shops with a husband probably understands why that is so much more efficient.) Anyhoo, this dinner was later in the evening, so I drove the car up to his office, parked behind his building, in case he wanted to go home while I was at this dinner, and proceeded to walk downtown to the restaurant. And it really is down, the campus is "uphill" from the town proper. It is probably a couple blocks. I was wearing regular business attire with a dressy pair of [sensible] clog type shoes. All of a sudden I was arse over tea cups tripping over something on the sidewalk...what? Dunno. Physical Plant has asked me twice now, but it could easily have been just a sidewalk join. This was not just a trip, graceful swan that I am, I am no stranger to a trip. This was a trip and fall. A woman student saw me and came over to see if I was hurt, that's how "violent" the tumble was. I had already leaped to my feet hoping against hope that no one had seen me. I told her I was fine, and she said that she had fallen in exactly the same place the week before. I continued on the restaurant, had dinner, and about two hours later, when I got up, was in horrible pain. For the next week my foot turned all shades of bruise. Of course, this didn't stop me from wearing high heeled ho'pumps to Swan Lake on Saturday night. Yes, I'm an idiot, why do you ask?

The problem appeared to be my foot, which was still bruised as of Monday, not my ankle. I felt for awhile, that I was improving, but this week the improvement seemed to stall. So while I went in for the scheduled test, that involved walking/running, I decided to see a doc/PA, just to have this checked out. I got sent for x-rays, and lo and behold, the radiologist found an "equivocal, non-displaced, fracture, of the lateral malleolus". Translated into English that means that they THINK there is a crack on that bone that sticks out on the outside, there is a lucency, but they're not sure. Because it is non-displaced, they can treat it like a bad sprain.

So here I am with anti-inflammatories, and a brace to keep my ankle stable.

So there you have it. The pain is from spraining the ligaments and I'm hoping to ditch the brace next week.

Meanwhile, what's brewing in my head is no great revelation, but it is antithetical to everyone's thinking around here. Please lower your expectations....Austen I am not!

Maybe I can distract you with Saroyan.


Really a fun knit. This is Malabrigo Silky Merino. It is gorgeous yarn. Alas I only bought two skeins. I would have made this a tad longer had I another skein.

I have no measurements.

It has been delightful to wear on the coldish spring mornings. When the tails cross in front, they hang down in a ruffle. It is knit across the short length, end to end, so it never gets boring. There is a pattern stitch on every row.

So there...everything else here is a work in progress....and I'm terrible at documenting progress.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Couldn't Make This Up....

Went for a diagnostic test and found a cracked ankle......which was completely unrelated to the testing. The test outcome was fine, I'm in great shape, the 15 year old disguised as a doctor told me so.

I'm just resolving the ankle issue, more to come.

I must also warn you. I am writing, in my head, an indictment of the women's movement as it relates to personal responsibility. I may have to share it or explode. Not a popular thing. Especially around these here parts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bad Blogger.......

.... I started this yesterday, but real life, uh, I mean my job, interrupted.

When I wrote the title I was thinking about that commercial where the woman admonishes her credit score as if it were a puppy ("Bad, bad 509."). Yeah, my brain is still coasting.

  • But we finally got our taxes done and mailed (hubby is a Luddite). Besides the Post Office really needs our help.
  • My personnel review, as expected, came back like a boomerang for [minor] revision. [deleted text to protect my long term employment] If you're really interested, email me for the rant. I long for the days, when I sat down with my supervisor, and she and I had a casual chat about what was good, what needed work, and where the unit was headed in the near term. Along with that there were always griping about our own supreme poo bah. Often I was given a new and usually challenging assignment. Fun times....
  • I have one more med test lined up, to complete my winter of getting hit with the illness stick. This hopefully will wrap up my odyssey [fingers crossed]. I did however emerge with one overarching issue, and there is a not so simple solution...lose about 25 lbs.....There I've said it. It's not so simple because even though I'm a pretty good eater....little fast food, no soft drinks, not big on sweets (outside of sugar in my tea, and dark, fine chocolate), I am weight loss resistant. I have a bit of insulin resistance going on...yes, it is documented. I am also exercise averse....meaning outside of yoga, I hate exercise. A deep abiding hate. I find it wasted time, unless I'm going somewhere....like hiking. Oh yeah...and I'm over 50, you can figure out the rest.

    The bright side is I could knit smaller sizes! I don't know how I'm going to do this, but it must be done. My doctor, who is really a nice honest gentleman, simply said, yes, the weight mattered. And I'm smart enough to know this.

  • But for following along this far you get a bonus.

MORE French Press Slippers!! Yea!! I know what you're thinking--that the flu back in January, or bad daytime TV, or both, killed brain cells. Actually, these are a Christmas gift 2010 for my Mom. So there's a method to the madness.




Details:

French Press Felted Slippers
Less than 2 skeins Lambs Pride Worsted (85 wool/15 mohair) my felting favorite. And I got them for half price at our LYS Superbowl sale.
The delightful Pistachio colorway







More details:


The button.....precious no? Bought it at JoAnn fabrics.












The soles with puffy paint hearts, which really do make them less slippery. (I know this because I jammed my too big flipper into them to check.) Yeah, not nicely drawn, but it was a bitch because the tip of the paint bottle kept catching in the wool. My mom's house has mainly hard wood floors, and if she fell and broke something because of slippers, MY slippers, my sister would murder me in my sleep.






I will soon be starting yet another pair in a wonderful goldish color. But because I don't know who they're for yet....I have several options, I'll forgo the puffy paint until I decide. Stay tuned.

I also have another finished piece that I've been wearing a lot this spring, but I'll save that for next week. Knitting has been verra slow lately. Work has been so busy, by the time I get home, grab something simple for dinner, I'm falling asleep and knitting isn't even an option.