Thursday, December 22, 2011

Signing Off

Signing off for 2011...Can hardly believe it!

If I were a slick blogger I'd have some fancy schmancy tree or ornament photo to put here--but I'm not so I don't.

Instead I'll leave you with this.

Watching it gives me the chills.....Another secret out...I'm a LOTR geek. Srsly. They are the only movies I've seen in theaters in a decade...(oops, is that another secret?)

December 2012

JUST. CAN'T. WAIT! (Listen to that dwarf song....!!)

So everyone have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year see yunz in 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thank you knitting elves.....

 Plain vanilla pattern, fancy cotton/wool yarn!!

By some miracle, the final toe was kitchenered yesterday morning, and they didn't have time to even be "blocked flat". Immediately into the box, wrapped, then on to the post office. I finished knitting the foot in the wee hours of Monday morning. No I didn't stay up to finish knitting, I was up for another reason, and found it convenient since I needed to finish knitting anyway.

Whew. I'm now making a(nother) pair of Fuzzy Feet for DH (by request, with more Steeler gold than last time), but I'm neither worried nor in a hurry. He gets 'em when he gets 'em. I know where he lives. I'm now working on Christmas cards. Again, not worried whether they get there before Christmas. Afterward will be just dandy with me.

Where's the wine?

P.S. And notice the other Christmas miracle in the photo.....the striping pattern matches exactly and I didn't even have to work at it. (And here's what I dufus I am. I didn't even look at the ball band and  was shocked when I saw the fair isle striping appearing. I bought it because I like the way the colors looked in the ball. Duh.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some things I think, I think....

  1. And on it goes.....
    I got a little bit of a snarky thrill, when I heard that Sandusky waived his prelim at the 11th hour. (I had been wondering about that myself, why bother?) However, to let the town of Bellefonte (Bell-font - see the last item) get their town knickers in a knot: bring in law enforcement - from the state police to off duty corrections officers; cover over the courtroom windows to discourage peepers; cordon off parking for the media; then allowing everyone to gather, only to walk away, can you say passive aggressive? Well, as far as the media goes, I was delighted to see them get their just desserts. The legal system will grind along with or without 'em, and I'd prefer without. From what I know of the man professionally, this is classic Amendola. He does everything "by the book", takes his time, and lets the prosecution run themselves ragged. I know of one case where the defendant wanted the issue resolved, but Amendola counselled patience, and the outcome was was better than expected.I also think this may have been a little payback for how they re-arrested Sandusky last week (appeared at his home with a warrent, perp walk etc.) Rather, in most rearrest cases, the attorney is notified by the police and they ask that the client surrender at a certain time. There may have been a bit of grandstanding..... It cost the town (pop: roughly 6,000), about $21,000 for the 5 minute circus. Can't wait for the trial. (NOT!)
  2. Don't let the door hit you on the way out....
    Finals week. Students are leaving. This town needs the rest.
  3.  The lawyer....
    One of the questions that I keep hearing people ask, and that I see people write in comments, is the self-righteous comment "How can he sleep at night (meaning the lawyer)?" Let me say for the record that Joe Amendola is well liked in the community. He is active in civic affairs, he's an Elk,  he participates in charitable causes (probably the Second Mile among others), he closed his office for four days when a neighbor experienced a tragic and unexpected death in his immediate family, so he could focus on helping. And here's the kicker, law enforcement LIKES him. I quote, "He's just doing his job. He's a "good guy", from a law enforcement acquaintance when the question was posed to him. What would the collective you rather? That we operate like Iran, and we just execute someone because he's creepy, or is accused of doing creepy things? I'm sure that's fine until it's you or someone you love. For the record defense attorneys do (should) not lie. They need to go into a courtroom to tell the judge and jury that you are not guilty, and will avoid your confession at all costs. Any evidence the defendant offers must be shared with the prosecution. So it's a no win, unless a plea deal is the outcome. That's how he sleeps at night.
  4. Knitting Elves!!
    I'm officially issuing a plea for an appearance of the knitting elves, along with the shopping elves, and decorating elves. Holy cow. I'm so far behind, I don't know what to think. Would it be so bad to send my mom one sock with an IOU?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why polls are meaningless....

..... in the past month, my home answering machine has participated in two political polls.

The first was just before the general election in November. I arrived within earshot to hear the "disembodied voice" ask, "what party will you vote for, primarily, in the election on Tuesday. Press 1 for ....". I fully expected to hear the "voice" say "we did not understand your selection, but instead, I heard the voice say. "Thank you for participating." Huh? I said to my husband, apparently our answering machine will be voting on Tuesday, however, I'm not sure for who."

Then there was yesterday. I heard the phone as I walked in the door. I didn't rush to answer, but instead stood at the bottom of the stairs to hear if it was a call I needed to attend to . Rather I hear the disembodied voice again, announcing a survey. Thinking that it would sense that there was a answering machine on our end and would terminate the call, I went about my business. A few minutes later I arrive at the desk where the machine is STILL recording the voice as it asks: "Who will you be voting for in 2012. Press 1 for Barak Obama, Press 2 for.." As I listened, the survey was apparently getting some kind of feedback it was interpreting as responses. When it got to "what party will you most tend to vote for". Press 1 for.... I intercepted the call and hung up. Who the heck knows what or how the signals the survey was getting were being interpreted. Bizarre.

So there you have it. Surveys are crap. Especially if it is administered by a computer, instead of a human.

And I'm still wondering who the answering machine voted for for school board.......

Monday, November 21, 2011

Send out the clowns...

We're down to of this morning's count. NBC and CNN still have trucks set up on College Avenue, and tents set up on Old Main lawn. I'm hoping they'll waste away from boredom. We're on fall break.

I think this article pretty much covers the craziness. If you look at the photos, you'll see what I tried to describe in my last post.

Please go home now.....

We're now getting used to the new normal. I can tell you that there are about 40,000 year round residents, and 39, 990 of us hadn't a clue as to what was happening. It is completely disconcerting when I think of it. We're now in a wait and see mode, and I think this mode is going to last a very, very long time. The one thing we are sure of, is that the abuse, at least from this alleged abuser, has stopped.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you have much to be thankful for. We do. When we get back, I WILL have kidding. I've not been knitting as much, because I've had an ongoing headache (what a shock!), and I'm way behind on Christmas knitting. There may be some Christmas knitting that won't get done....and so be it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Now back to our regularly scheduled...

...ummm...not so much.

Welcome to the "new" normal. It isn't pretty and it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

I've been mighty snarky about the media circus that has ensued. But Friday, took me to another, very bad place.

DH and I attended a campus theater performance. (Life does indeed  go on here, and there are other students.) Afterward, one of the local taverns was advertising jazz as their entertainment. Well, because this is such an unusual occurrence, we wanted to patronize said tavern. We also thought we'd get a bit of a break from the non-stop barrage of bad news.

B.I.G. mistake. As is true on most college campuses/towns, we left our car in our legal space and walked from the theater (walking is generally the travel mode of choice on a campus like this). As we approached the administration building we came across students who were leaving the candlelight vigil. As we continued to the downtown area, things changed rapidly. First, the main drag was as bright as daylight from the television floodlights. As we approached I could see a few satellite truck dishes above the screening hedge. But when we stepped into the street there were approaching 20 of these trucks and their attendant ghouls in a  line up and down the street, clearly waiting for "something" to happen.  It was just jaw dropping. In the mere block we walked we saw, literally, 6 state, local and PSU police vehicles on a slow cruise. Sometimes one behind another - with multiple officers on board. I can't even find a way to describe the scene adequately. It was horrific. We beat a path back to the dark center of campus as soon as we could. I was, and continue to be, stunned. The good news is that NOTHING happened.

The fallout hasn't stopped yet, but with any kind of luck, it will slow down enough to eventually allow the business of justice to move forward.

To the whiners and know-it-alls:

Joe Paterno was dealt with the way he was because by his "retirement" announcement, he was trying to do what he's always done. Whatever he wants. Sorry, that's the fact. For years many bemoaned the fact that there was no succession plan in place. He refused to think about how to handle this team he loves so well, and the multimillion dollar business it had become, when it was time to move on. The words selfish and Paterno were being linked more and more often. The message the board sent was that you are not the most important person right now. I believe they saw the standing ovations he would surely get at his last "official" games as antithetical to the "right thing to do". It is really that simple. And let's talk about coaching....can someone tell me how one coaches from a box, with no communication equipment and a cuppa coffee in hand? Shadow puppets? Telepathy? No one knows better than I that he and his family are consummate philanthropists. They have contributed to this community in ways that transcend just money. But it doesn't change the fact that EVERYONE HAS A BOSS and the board finally put on their pants and made that clear.

Lastly, this is not about football. This is about a group of powerful people throughout the community who somehow thought that they could control an alleged predator. They mistakenly thought that hiding information was going to protect the community at large, and their various organizations. I have no idea how anyone could possibly come to this conclusion. I also believe that holding this information in secret, put the rest of us as guardians out of loop.

There are two satellite trucks still here today: NBC and someone generic. However, with interim President Erickson sending an email to the campus community about every 15 seconds. I don't think they'll be getting much. So, move along folks nothing more to see. We're going to have to figure this out for ourselves. All that's left is a sad, stunned community.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Lord help me there's more....

..... We are currently embroiled in a circus, inside a carnival, within a rodeo. I am beginning to scream at the radio because EVERYONE has[is] an assh.... uh, opinion, and apparently no one has taken the time to think this through. (Also my regular coffee shop was completely filled. No seats! How rude! And the streets are FILLED with satellite trucks.)

Here are a few more "facts".

Fact: The graduate student is not named in the indictment as a witness. GET THAT? NOT NAMED      ( go ahead, read it, I dare you). It is a pretty easy inference, especially here, but still. Because someone speculates on a blog is not an adequate reason to crucify someone. IMHO.

Fact: Another eyewitness, named in the indictment, to a second, later, equally horrific event, at the same facility, was reduced to blubbering when he met with his shift supervisors. Does this not tell you what this does to a normal psyche? Also included in the report, is the little line that the perpetrator and victim saw both witnesses at the times of the incidents. For those that are hollering "why didn't [witness] stop the assault"...well, maybe it's because it did stop when they were seen. This information may possibly be in reports that will be used for prosecution. Didn't think of that did'ja?

Fact: For all of this, the victim of the first witnessed incident has yet to be identified. I have very good information (you can't imagine how small this town really is), that indicates two full time state authorized investigators have worked full time for six months to identify this individual, with NO success. While not deadly to a conviction, this can be used to cast doubt in a defense strategy. While on the search, they participated in gathering all the other witnesses that the GJ heard. (And yesterday, Victim Nine was forwarded to them.)

Fact: Has it not occurred to anyone that being quiet is the best strategy for the prosecution? If ONE of these allegations is true, this man is a monster, and I do not want to risk him getting off. That being said, another fact, is that he is being represented by a pretty sharp lawyer. He's local, but he's one smart cookie. I suspect he is waiting for information he can use to "pop up" in the press. I hope everyone who may be part of the prosecution just shuts up! NOW!

Fact: Everyone is making a big deal about Paterno's cancelled press conference. Here's the unvarnished story. Paterno has become the Andy Rooney (RIP) of the sports world. The filters between his brain and mouth have deteriorated. He regularly intimidates the local sports media,  backing them down, they're afraid for their jobs and need PSU access, but the national media is another matter. Of course, he doesn't see it that way... We were settling in for a Woody Hayes moment, where he'd say something completely off the wall and he'd have to be locked in a closet for the remainder of the season. Also, there is the possibility I alluded to above that he might have compromised the investigation and prosecution. I can't imagine that this situation is REALLY a complete shock to him. Call me a cynic. Then there is the turmoil within the administration, while I have no sympathy for anything that's going on there, let's not make it worse. No matter what happens they're all pretty much done. Call the realtors now is my advice. So we have someone who is deluded at best, mean at worst wanting to answer questions--from a bunch of sharks..... Does this not sound like a train wreck to anyone?

Fact: ESPN is reporting that Paterno has announced his retirement. Too bad he procrastinated so long he's riding out on a wave of crap, rather than glory. Leaves his team and staff in a bad situation. Another post for another day. Won't be any retirement celebrations any time soon, I suspect. 

ETA: As I walked back through campus, from honest to goodness university business...the worker bees are still toiling, every person I passed had a cell phone glued to his/her ear and what I inferred from the one sided conversations is that the board of trustees has asked the president to step down or be fired by the end of the day. Nothing official has been released. No surprise there. The PR faculty are thinking that this is the worst PR performance since BP, which recently overtook the Exxon Valdez as the way not to address a crisis. Nice, huh?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Let's get a few things straight....

We are not a "state university", despite the name, due to an anomaly in funding. Our state schools are a set of loosely affiliated small universities-fourteen to be exact. So "the state" can't fire anyone. Officially, we are a state-related public university. So much for media fact checking.

There are literally, thousands of faculty, staff and students who are stunned by the depth and breadth of the indictment against the former coach. We toil, heroically for the most part, so those that attend get the best education possible. From the folks that wipe the desks down each day to the course designers, web developers, and subject matter experts, our focus is to enhance learning. We understand where we are in the "food chain" and just have to trust that those in responsible positions, will make reasonable decisions. And there's the breakdown.

It doesn't always happen. Particularly when it comes to a certain 80-something football coach. A friend from athletics and I used to joke that "everyone has a boss"...."except Joe Paterno". It's too bad it was true.

That being said.
Fact. The 1998 incident you are hearing about (and if you have the stomach for it I suggest you read the indictment--it does take a strong stomach though) was not pursued because, apparently, the DA decided he didn't have a case. Why? We'll never know because he disappeared in 2005. Yes, you read that right. Disappeared. Drove his car about 30 miles east, parked and "poof". He was declared dead this past spring. The only assumption that can be made is that there was not enough evidence to file charges. (He was a pretty cautious DA overall.)

Fact. In 2006, the next DA took, what is now a series of incidents, and decided it needed a bigger office with more investigators, and citing "conflict of interest" kicked it to the state AG (who is now our governor), and the investigation began in earnest. The grand jury was convened in 2009, and that brings us to today.

Fact. The university officials who were arraigned yesterday, were charged with perjury, nothing more. Unfortunately, there is no legal basis for shirking your ethical or moral duty to humanity (mores the pity).

Fact. We have people here pointing their collective shaking fingers at a certain graduate assistant who actually had the temerity to tell his boss what he saw. If you read the indictment and [his testimony] description of what he saw, you begin to understand how horrifying that experience probably was. He will not have me second guessing him. And here's the rub. I also suspect that when he went to a certain 70 year old, and used words like "inappropriate" rather than rape. My 70 year old mother wouldn't have gotten it either. Let me also say that graduate students are in horrible positions just generally. They can be kicked out of their respective programs for seeing the wrong movie, or changing a syllabus. They walk on egg shells. In this light it was particularly gutsy. Maybe not far enough, but hell, he did what ordinarily would be the "right" thing.  (If you want to argue this point, fine. However, I see what goes on here with GAs, and it isn't pretty.) Also please keep in mind that in the past three years he gave testimony to a grand jury investigation.

Fact. Even though this former coach was banned from campus, particularly with kids in tow, few knew it. If I had seen him last week on campus with a kid, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

Fact. We are all being painted as worshiping at the "shrine" of Paterno. Not so much. Rumors are now swirling around campus that there will be an "announcement" at Saturday's game. My current earworm is the "Hallaujah Chorus".  

(Speculation: The administrators will be found not guilty, or have their charges dropped. And plausible deniability exists for the president and Paterno.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hit and run ...


Here is where we were  a week ago Saturday:

Fort Ligonier

Please notice the blue skies and sunny weather.

This was this past Saturday:

Yeah, snow. Heavy wet, snow. It wasn't the earliest that we've gotten snow like this, but jeepers. It just wasn't fair. I was so glad we sold our tickets to the football game.

There's lots more about Fort Ligonier that I will save for a future post. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up at the sight of original George Washington journal entries. And his saddle pistols.....!! I had no idea I was a history geek, but there you have it.

While I had the time I finally finished the languishing Leyburn Socks.

Please ignore the fancy pj's still cold here.

Zitron Trekking Pro-Natura
Lovely yarn. Has bamboo in it.
Pattern needed reworking (details here), and I had to fuss with the slip stitch pattern too much to make it worth my while to knit again. Another reason why they languished. They are very pretty though.

In addition to the socks, I also finished ANOTHER father-in-law knit cap (his favorite) this time in blue multi, and a neck warmer for my mother-in-law. Photos soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A little of this, a little of that..

It occurs to me that I've been talking to myself lately. About what one may inquire? Well, about my astonishment that people I gave credit to for being tolerant, aren't. And not just intolerant, ignorant. It is upsetting and depressing.

I've said many times that I'm a true centrist. Because it is so important for folks to have labels, let me be clear about this. I evaluate issues independently. I base my judgements on my own thought processes and experience. If I can't figure something out, I wait until I can. Though it is occasionally difficult, I try and not judge others on their opinions alone.

Right now, I'd describe myself as a fiscal conservative, maybe even a Regan conservative fiscally, though I never voted for him, and a supporter of capitalism as the most resilient of the economic approaches. I've finally figured out that I lean toward social libertarianism, very different than being socially liberal mind you, except in two aspects, drugs and smoking. (I didn't say I was perfect, did I?) So that's the broad side. I can pick my way through discrete topics and can find myself on one side or another with perfect comfort and can accept that others will disagree without losing sleep over it.

What has me losing sleep is this: two people whom I know to be "good people" have begun to take to name calling. One is calling all Christians idiots because they disagree with him. I'm a Christian, I have a libertarian point of view when it comes to his pet cause, and it is opposed to his. As a libertarian, I feel that the citizens of his state have a right to self-govern. Some day they may change their minds, and in fact, probably will. But until then....suck it up. I am appalled that he finds it OK to publicly denigrate 85% of the country because he's having a snit.

The other attaches herself to every liberal nut that comes along. I already know this about her and like her anyway. She has contributed to the likes of Howard Dean, John Edwards, and is now posting the Elizabeth Warren rant on her FB page. The fact that the rant simply solidifies the notion that tenured faculty are not all they're cracked up to be (and some are, in fact, cracked), doesn't phase her. For a brief moment I toyed with the idea of shooting this nuttiness down publicly, but good manners held me back. Then I thought about maybe just sending an email privately, but I let the notion pass. It is too late. I understand how easy it is for someone surrounded by like thinking individuals to just grasp this stuff. Opinions are fine, but how about backing it up.

These two people live in the same state, and I'm beginning to think, instead of floride, they are putting intolerance in the water.By contrast, I live in a world where I must evaluate and support most everything I think. As one might expect I am rather an outlier.  I must find the path that allows me to be true to myself, yet support others to be true to themselves too. Tolerance is everything. But apparently I'm an outlier in that respect too. Seems to be what I'm talking to myself most about.

As an antidote, my blankie....still in progress.......knitting the "connectors" between squares now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The synopsis, and a burning question.

Flooding, the quick synopsis:

 Mother and extended family are fine. The levees held even in spots that were of concern. Turns out this was the ultimate test, and now they can "fix" the spots that were causing trouble. The crest ultimately was ABOVE the crest in 1972, as well as the "public" figure for the current levee system (41') at 42.66'. Apparently, the Army Corps of Engineers gave them a little "wiggle room" to 43' and that turned out to be the thing that saved the two towns (Wilkes Barre and Kingston).

I just spoke to my mom today, and things still aren't good however. River Street, one street below Main, where she lives, was inundated (outside the levee system) and remains closed. Thus all the traffic destined for Rt 81 is rerouted to Main Street . It makes it nearly impossible to get out of the driveway (if you're an 81 year old nervous driver).  The water system is intact, and she didn't lose power. There are still three bridges closed, pending inspections. Market Street was opened this morning . Two in Pittston, and one that adjoins the county courthouse in Wilkes Barre remain closed.

Now the next new fight is going to start. When they reconstructed this levee system in the 10 years following Agnes, there were arguments about the height, and also about what would happen in the towns up and down river when the water was held out of Kingston and Wilkes Barre. Now we know. Folks that had water in their basements in 1972 had four or more feet on their first floors. Both up river, Pittston and West Pittston, and down, Bloomsburg, Shickshinny etc. Have no idea how they'll deal with this. I really feel for these folks.

But even so, the devastation is nothing like I remember from 39 (!) years ago. More dispersed, though.

So now, in the space of three weeks we've had a hurricane, earthquake and flooding. We're ready! Bring on the locusts. ( Re: the earthquake. The most interesting thing I noticed was that I became motion sick as the floor shook and the window glass waved. That was disconcerting.)

Finally...somebody please explain to me what are "they" thinking?????!!!!!!!

Attack Watch(!!!)

Please note the Twitter hash tag......#attackwatch!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Have another post in draft, but must suspend operation until this is resolved


My mom is above the flood plain, but I'm having Hurricane Agnes flashbacks (I was 15), and we're hoping the levees hold and the bridge barriers are enough. I don't know what we're going to do if the crest is higher than the levees (41 feet) and she is without electricity and water for any length of time. I've got 100 miles of low lying roads along the Susquehanna to traverse to get there.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not So Short and Definitely Not Sweet...

...I had a post nearly ready about 10 days ago. I can't believe how long it has been since I connected with the innernuts. But I deleted it. So I'm just going to summarize. The clue phone is ringing Mr. O. and surprise, IT'S FOR YOU! Keynesian economics is a theory, and apparently, a lousy one. So far, there is not ONE example where it has panned out in the long term....ask the USSR, how about France, maybe Greece, I could go on. I'd have lots more respect if the idiots who are advising this administration, most of whom are faculty with tenure, said, oopsy, not working, let's move on. Sigh.

So a few short hits:

  • Tomorrow my age and the speed limit ( the lower one) will match. That's not so bad, except for the above dilemma. Age to retirement is decreasing rapidly. (And I once had a fantasy of retiring at 59.....fantasy is right.)

  • About 10 weeks ago I started to run (C25K) and can now ALMOST make it 20 minutes without stopping. For those counting that is week 5 in a nine week program. I just keep rerunning the same weeks until I can do it without falling down dead afterward. That is a real accomplishment for me. And better yet, the owner of Rapid Transit Sports here in town fitted me with running shoes that have mostly mitigated my heel pain. I must stop in and tell him so. (He also told me I shouldn't be running, but walking, but let's split the difference and call it trotting.)

  • I was compelled to do something drastic (for me) because I know my age, genetics, and physical condition, are going to catch up with me SOON. I don't have much disease in my family, but I figure err to the side of best advantage. And if you think I'm shedding weight like feathers....think again. I've not lost a pound (bad). But I sleep better (good).

  • Santiago Rodriguez, a phenom, which is not nearly descriptive enough, gives me chills every time I hear him play (piano). He looks a little like Count Dracula, but plays like .... sheesh, I don't even have a good description. He specializes in Grieg, and Rachmaninov so he's no shrinking violet. If you are a classical music fan at all, listen to one of his performances. You will NOT be sorry.

  • The only thing I feel like knitting is the loony Parcheesi blanket. I don't know why. I need to move on soon, as I have no Christmas knitting in the pipeline. But it was so easy to carry around with me. I have no current photos, but I'll try to get some over the weekend.

  • I will not be going anywhere on my birthday. I'm not dumb. It is Arrival Weekend here in HV and we will be lousy with students, parents, and tourists by noon today (Friday). I'm thinking that driving to a state park and hiking to the top of the mountain, might be a good option.

  • I am conflicted over Marcellus Shale drilling. But that's another post.

I leave you with a "rain approaching" photo of Pine Creek:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two Mysteries.

Mystery One:

The photo of the finished Summer Mystery Shawlette (Rav Link)

I used my first shipment from Foxfire Sheep Shares.

This is Flock Sock in Marigold. I used a touch more than a skein and a half. It is about 48 x 29 and I probably could have blocked it more aggressively.

This was lots of fun to knit and I needed (read: was compelled to) to download the second clue while I was in Atlanta because I wanted to knit it on the plane. It was a fun and easy knit. And I'm not usually a KAL kinda gal. (I may even make another!)

I ordered two skeins of this in natural to make another Cable Crossings hat. I'm so glad I did. I really loved working with this yarn.

Mystery Two:

Why would you keep this as the name of your law firm?

Click to enlarge.

I've even seen this firm advertised on bus benches.


(ETA: I thought the dumpster added to the ambiance.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What were they thinking?

And what didn't you understand about sending digital photos into the "wilds" of the internet?
And what made you think that someone who used inflammatory rhetoric as part of his schtick wouldn't be a target even for the most benign images?
And are you just a garden variety idiot? Never mind don't answer that ...rhetorical question.

Clearly, some twits shouldn't tweet.

Holy crow!!

With your multi-millions, you had to use campaign funds to hide your chicka?
How did the fact that this is a crime, escape your steel-trap legal mind?
I particularly like the addition of getting your staffer to lie for you.

I have no words.....Yes, I do. One. Slimy.....

And then there's my mom who's equating Christie flying to his son's ballgame with misappropriating campaign funds...ummm, one is stupid, but not a crime. The other is a criminal offense...... Yea, they're equivalent all right.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

So I lied,,,

Pictures today.

First things first, trip to Atlanta went well. Between forty and fifty folks attended my session (and there were nine other sessions at the same time) and NO ONE left, even though it was right before lunch.....Also, I didn't get tarred and feathered, which I half expected. In addition, I was given, what I considered a prime slot, the second time session the first morning (Saturday).

When I arrived on Friday evening, it was around....oh...90 degrees and there was a big bright thing in the sky. Looked vaguely familiar, but it had been so long since we'd seen anything like that in the sky in Central PA, I couldn't be sure. As if Atlanta knew I was coming, the aquarium, which usually closes at 5:00 pm (on a Friday! How dumb is that?) was open until 10:00 pm and had jazz in their atrium! It was about 6 blocks or so from the hotel, I was a assured it was a "safe" walk for a lone woman, so I went.

I guess I could have taken a pumpkin coach, but my name is Cindy not Cinderella.

The music was excellent, and I made many new friends:

Meet Ms. Grouper. Holy hell she was enormous!!
I wish this lousy cell phone photo could convey the size of this creature.

They have a window viewing tank, like many aquariums, but I've never seen fish get this close, and be so large. I tried to get a photo of the whale shark (about 60 feet long) and a graceful ray (they had a whole school of them) but I just wasn't lucky.

This "ocean" has a tunnel built right in. This is what I dubbed the "tunnel o'fish". The gentleman you see to the left is an aquarium volunteer, that has all the statistics, facts, and trivia about the animals at his fingertips.....He even knows the NAMES of the larger fish, like Fred and Stacy, (and can identify, male and female). Maybe he needs a life, but I'm glad he was nearby.

This is a freshwater rock eel. I don't know anything about him except that he has a face only a mother can love. Looks like he's having a bad day too.

On Sunday, after the conference wrap up, I found ONE yarn store that was open on Sunday afternoon, and with the help of Andre the concierge, got on a bus, and rode about 5 miles to the Needle Nook. The bus driver was very helpful in giving me a head's up when we were coming to the correct area, and lo and behold there it was in a little shopping center. Needle Nook has wonderful yarns (Malabrigo, Bamboo, Noro, all the Cascades, too many for me to remember), a wide variety of bags, needles, books, notions, jewelry and what not. And you wouldn't know it from the outside. From the outside, it looks like a garden variety shopping center craft store. Another unusual attribute is that the person running the store that day was a middle age gentleman (the owner is Arlene who I corresponded with briefly), and there was another middle age gentleman already there knitting a fair isle (or entrelac, I couldn't tell) chula hat. A lovely chula hat with llamas or alpacas dancing around it. I spent a fine hour deciding what I could fit in my carry on, which was my only concern (I brought a space bag with me - be prepared, and I'm not even a girl scout). The one disconcerting moment came when I was trying to decide on a color of Malabrigo Silky Merino for the Drifting Pleats scarf I've always wanted to knit, and two women joined me at the yarn rack. They stank...of cigarette smoke. It was totally off putting and gag inducing. And I've never been known for a weak stomach. In desperation I wandered away but they were there for more than 10 minutes, chatting about the relative merits of lace weight......not Silky Merino (DK). I'm sorry if I'm insulting smokers, but should know that you can't keep smoking a secret.

After the smokers left, and I made my decisions and retreated to Starbucks(!) which was a short hop across the parking lot, had a cold frapp (it was 90 degrees again), and knit for about an hour uninterrupted. Is there a better configuration - a yarn store AND a Starbucks? Except for the 90 degrees (which really felt like 90, unlike Denver, Atlanta has no shortage of humidity. Ask my hair!) It was then I caught a bus back from whence I came, meeting another nice bus driver, and getting to the hotel in time to have dinner with excellent sangria.

So here's my haul:

The red, which isn't this red, is Silky Merino for Drifting Pleats, and a light green Sublime Extra Fine Merino for the Victoriana Scarflette (please don't ask why that pattern appeals to me, no idea). And, yes, that is a Laurel Burch bag in the background - a little one. And yes, it fit in my carry on.

I'm kinda glad I had a limit. I could have done some REAL damage.

Soon, some process photos.....sorry nothing finished. I can only wish.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Still here.....

.... barely. I've had the month from hell. With the end of the semester, my workload exploded. Usually this is the time of year, when we slow down; town gets semi-quiet, we stop and catch our respective breaths. Instead:

There were grant proposals to review, I am PRESENTING at a conference in Atlanta this weekend. My title "What does your syllabus say about you?", a workshop I can do in my sleep, however, I've had to crank it up to the next level. So now I'm worried. Probably don't need to be but .... I'm working on a "course" with two other folks and I'm disappointed in the progress. I was tasked with the last session on Tuesday, the day after I get back from Atlanta. So EVERYTHING has to be ready by TOMORROW. Sigh. It's been a forever and a day long month. I may collapse on Wednesday.

Still more. Leyburn. sock. My left sock is languishing. Parcheesi blanket seems to be my favorite knit when I can't sleep, can't read, and am exhausted. I've started Wendy's KAL Mystery Summer Shawlette with my Sheep Shares Cormo Flock Sock in Marigold. I really love it. I'm thinking I'll take the sock and the KAL with me to Atlanta. I'm hoping to go on a yarn crawl on Sunday. Pictures maybe tomorrow.......

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Some things I think, I think ....

So, Sunday evening I'm waiting for DH to meander downstairs so we can watch the last installment of Upstairs, Downstairs (as an aside I'm not sure what the fuss is all's OK, but maybe I'm not "highbrow enough), I'm flipping through the channels, and settle on my buddy Geraldo on Fox News. (I have a soft spot for Geraldo, has to do with my late dad, and it started in the 70's.) It's his usual show, but he's waiting for the president to make an announcement...This is about 10:27 pm..

G: We're waiting for a statement from the White House and we're speculating that it has to do with the fact that Quaddafi's house was bombed by NATO today, and he may be dead or injured.

More time killing chatter interrupted by Geraldo clearly listening to something on his earpiece.

G: My producer was just saying that wouldn't it be interesting if this has something to do with Bin Laden...... at this Geraldo brightens VISIBLY and begins to wax poetic about how great that would be. (He was one of the first press people into Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. And possibly one of the first to be tossed out on his ear....but I digress.)

10:35 pm (5 minutes past press conference time)
G: Another pause where he is clearly listening to his producer even saying..."Can you repeat that?" Then We've just been told, UBL has been killed by US forces in a house in Pakistan. UBL is dead! Can we confirm it? Yes? Now it is confirmed.

I took this time to flip around the channels and NONE of the other channels (I admit, I forgot to check CNN!) were broadcasting this. By sheer dumb luck Geraldo scooped the competition. Funny how that happens. Then we watched the last of Up/Dn.

So why is this important? I'm fine with the op as it unfolded, I'm delighted we won't have to talk about it anymore (soon I hope), I love the ignominy of a sea burial (whoever suggested that should get a raise), kudos to all the covert ops, the presidents, CIAers etc. Do I worry that it will incite more violence? Nope! Why? Because there is nothing we could do, or not, that won't. The jihadists, do not need an excuse. And if they want to they'll find one. Instead of sleeping with the fishes and Big Pussy, they think UBL is communing with a retinue of virgins (with horns, hooves, and big man parts, I hope), and hope they will eventually do the same.

I was, however, a little put off, or more correctly mystified, by the "celebrations" in the streets. Something doesn't sit well with me. Though the context is completely different, it reminded me a little of the dancing in the Gaza streets, when 9/11 happened. There was no celebration when McVeigh was executed, or Ted Bundy, both monsters in their own right. I'm working on this.

Never did find out what happened with Moammar......

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hey...Maybe I should write a posting???

Ya, think?

Lately I've found myself wondering why most of my online "friends" have absconded to Facebook and Twitter. I run through all my blog links (I've never done the RSS thing. Don't know why.) and am bereft when no one is posting. Well, yeah, I kinda get it. You only need two minutes to post a poorly spelled 140 character posting. And if you're a perfectionist (NOT!) then writing a blog posting can be an arduous task. Yeah, I get it. But I live in an academic world, and I've drunk enough of the kool aid to be wordy--to like whole thought through ideas. I even like to read things I may not agree with. S'Ok with me. Then I had a revelation...ummm maybe I should write something. Since I've not posted since...gulp...3/31!

Yeah, it's been a busy spring. And I've got a MAJOR ongoing project that will take me through the summer into September. My hairdresser/colorist is going to have her work cut out for her. Srsly!

Then there are the little "things". Gas prices [today] verging on $4/gal. The University declining to give cost of living increases for the second time in 3 years. You can't blame them really. The governor, who I can't blame either, is trying to balance the balance the state budget and has proposed cutting appropriation to state related institutions by 50%. That's a lot! So even though, as an institution, we are running pretty lean, some offices are still at risk for being collapsed. We won't know for about a month. Then that is only for the next fiscal year. Sigh. Hard to plan around that. And with gas prices, we are curtailing our personal travel, even though we have [elderly] family at either end of the state. The only bright spot is that everything here is less than 10 miles away from anywhere else, and we can get away with one vehicle and travel 10 miles or less on a "normal" day. Even with necessary "errands" we don't have to drive very much. How different it would be if I were living in the burbs and working at Pitt! So thank goodness for small mercies.

I'm still knitting away, though. Not really exciting stuff. I finally finished ONE of my Leyburn Socks, after many tweaks. Now I have to try and understand my notes and make the other one similar.

Here's the Bead Knitted Bracelet. I taught this class recently at my LYS and it was so popular that they turned people wash, rinse, repeat. I'll be teaching the knitted bracelet class in June, and a crocheted bangle in July...... They're fun because when the participants walk out...they have a piece of jewelry. No washing, no blocking, no weaving in great is that? The crocheted bangle will be tougher to teach. It is a tricky technique, especially getting started. After about row three, though, it gets easier. I have a few tricks that I can share so we'll see how it goes.

I'm scheduled to give a presentation at a national conference in Atlanta next month, and even though I can do a variation of my presentation in my sleep, I'm beginning to panic. I'm in faculty development/programming (i.e., a performance artist) so this SHOULD be a slide on ice. Which we'll probably have tomorrow, since it's 75 and thunderstorming at the moment.

Anyway, anyone know of any good yarn stores near downtown Atlanta?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A Little Jazz

Fiesta Baby Boom in Spring Chill
< 1 skein (by choice)

#5 harmony circs.


My ruffle is not as ruffley as it might be, but, oh well. Too bad.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I ...

garter stitch....

I've never been a garter stitch fan, but all of a sudden....

I'm lousy with garter stitch. On the left is the Little Jazz from Spring 2010 Loopy Ewe "sock club".

And on the right is the beginning of a Parcheesi blanket.

Ummmm love me some garter stitch. A gs snob no longer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I hesitated to post this but...

...that ear worm just keeps on keepin' on. Could NPR alone be responsible for an uptick in unemployment this month, surely this woman should be replaced for dereliction of duty.


Monday, March 07, 2011

This Monday is brought to you by the number....


Two: the number of hours I spent trying to wind (with a swift and ball winder no less) 400 yards of Fiesta, Baby Boom (fingering weight, merino) into a usable ball. The skein was twisted on the swift, and the end kept working itself out to wrap around the swift post. The resulting yarn cake was kinda messy, so I attempted to "rewind" from the center pull yarn cake. Sweet sassy molassy, it pulled out in yarn barf with no redemption and took me two hours to untangle, and I had to [finally] snip it.

Two: The number of knots I will have in what started out as an unblemished skein of yarn. (Because I was so po'd I simply BROKE it in once place out of frustration.)

Two: The number of yarn cakes I have.

Two: The number of inches too short my Fuzzy Feet felted. Knit Picks Wool of the Andes is a very enthusiastic "felter". (Must purchase MORE black wool.....)

Two: The number of new projects I started, after I finished the Fuzzy Feet. A Little Jazz (with my poor knotty Baby Boom) and the Parcheesi Blanket, with all my worsted odds and ends. I may be crazy. I am still working on my Damask Kauni cardigan and Leyburn socks, which seem to be kicking my butt! The sock was too narrow in the foot, so I made it wider. When I got to the ankle and calf, it was so wide, I couldn't keep it I pulled it out and adjusted the stitch count. I also keep fussing with the pattern counting. Fer cripes's a sock!

Two: o'clock. About the time the drenching rain turned into driving snow yesterday.

Two: The number of inches of snow we were expecting....eight (8) less than we actually got (the article says totals were measured at 9:30 am, should have read pm, it was still raining in the am).

Two: The number of hours the university was delayed in opening this morning. And the number of extra hours of sleep we got. (Yeah!)

Monday, February 28, 2011

We're so proud....NOT!

....that in response to Kaye's comment to my previous posting.

The aftermath.

These two excerpts from the article are really telling:

As with previous years’ festivities, many of those getting in trouble are not Penn State students. Fishel reported misdemeanors involving students from the University of Pittsburgh, St. Joseph’s University, Slippery Rock University, Virginia Tech and the University of West Virginia.

And to this horse's ass I your parents know where you are?

One young man traveled 14 hours from Alabama to celebrate his first State Patty’s Day. After climbing atop a mound of snow in front of Five Guys Burgers and Fries and posing for pictures with a keg of beer, he expressed his excitement for the alcohol-fueled celebration.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” he said. “My best friend is a junior here, and he’s been trying to get me up here forever. He was recruiting a bunch of us for months. I don’t know any other place that has this much fun.”

When asked if he was drunk, he answered, “If you’re asking me if I’m having fun, my answer is yes.”

This is all about drinking....NOTHING else. And the fact that Penn State students aren't being "cited" is nothing to be delighted about. It just means that they've honed their skills during football season. The fact that some are "recruiting friends" is just downright idiotic and probably dangerous.

And to think I was hot because they closed the "state stores" early. I had no intention of going to a state store, mind you, but the fact that the entire town has to endure such measures because we have a temporary segment of our population that can't behave...well, really frosts my nanny. Seems like small potatoes now. I'd be a lunatic if I lived in Arizona....or Hazleton.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Some things I think, I think.

We here in the land of the privileged boneheads, who pay (in state) over $14,000 to attend a Research 1 university (yes, we're at the top of the state related university tuition in the country), are bracing to endure another State Patty's Day. And no I didn't get that incorrect. Have a seat by the fire children, and I'll tell you a story.

In 2007 St (as in saint) Patrick's Day fell during spring break week. Here St Paddy's (not Patty's- idiots) it is [yet another] excuse for our student population to go to bars and binge drink. It was spontaneous the first time, and the local merchants "got into it", opening early, offering specials, green beer etc. The local constabulary, as well as the residents and university officials, were taken by surprise by the total chaos that ensued. Fast forward a year, and St Paddy's day, is as usual on a regular weekday. (I've taught classes on St. Patrick's day when ONE student out of twenty showed for class....seriously.) The students though didn't want to let go of the faux holiday, and it happened again. They simply pick a Saturday. We, townies, began to get disgusted-REAL disgusted. In 2009, the tavern owners, who apparently were beginning to feel a pinch from the LCB in the way of fines, started to downplay this "event". Several tavern owners even closed their establishments on that Saturday. This costs them dearly because they are small business owners with families, but they need their liqueur licenses. Now when the arrest records are released it is becoming clear that 2/3 of the DUIs, drunk and disorderlies are from out of town. They are not residents or students. So we've got drunks from the outside coming to wreck havoc and use our resources. (Does this sound like we're a border town or what?)

Well, here we again, State Patty's Day is this Saturday, and despite the public outcry, the community service groups who will be out "patrolling", the police from a three county area along with the state troopers who will be in town, some greedy business are still promoting an "event" that only celebrates drinking.

A year ago I was feeling pain in my lower ribs, and declined going to the ER BECAUSE I KNEW THE PLACE WOULD BE FILLED WITH DRUNKS. I waited and the pneumonia/pleurisy got a real chance to take hold. (Yes, I'm an idiot.)

I think it's time these fools give it a rest and use the $$ mommy and daddy are investing more wisely.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


.... so things aren't so super here at Casa Black'nGold, n'at. But fair's fair, and three turnovers, well, what can one expect? And just because it helps to have a sense of humor about it:
The Morning (not mourning) File (my personal favorite is the last).

So looking forward to July (fingers crossed) and training camp at St. Vincents.

Worse Sunday news was that Geno Malkin is out for the rest of the year. Kiss the cup good-bye. Then there is Crosby's mystery concussion. (If someone is side-lined with a concussion for 6 weeks.....hummmm?) He hasn't been that fragile, so, it is probably safe to assume that there is something else amiss (or afoot).

But on to better things. Just to confirm...there ARE good peeps in the world.

Saturday was a hellish weather day here...lots of ice, freezing rain, and sleet etc - amidst sunshine. Major roads in and out of town were closed due to black ice and accidents. (There were 11 accidents and one death in about an hour and a half stretch, before the roads were closed, on Saturday.) My 80-year old mother is having issues of her own. She lives in her own home, however, none of us live close by, so when she is iced in, there's nothing much we can do about it. (She won't let us hire someone to help because it will "offend" a neighbor---please don't ask. If you have elderly parents this will make perfect sense.) When a younger friend called to see if she wanted to meet for coffee, my mom told her she couldn't get out of her icy driveway. About an hour later, Carol, and her husband Frank, arrived with tools, and proceeded to spend 3 hours(!) extracting the driveway and sidewalks from ice. Good grief...I'm not sure my siblings and/or I would have spent 3-hours! Anyway, Carol is a knitter, so she has a little thank you care package headed her way...(chocolates for Frank). These kinds of folks restore my faith in humanity. Truly.

But I have something to show for our "global warming" weather....BTW does anyone else find it interesting that if it snows (any amount)--it's global warming;
if it is hot, it's global warming;
rain, global warming;
cold, global warming;
if the cat pees on the carpet, global warming....

Seriously, can it be, maybe that it is just February in the northern hemisphere? And just to add some interest, we are currently 9 inches BELOW our normal snowfall. Oh right, global warming!! I forgot. However, one's nose hair crackles when you walk outside.....Pretty typical for this time of year. I'm old, I can actually remember!!

Anyway, I appear to be on a hat "kick". First a Cable Crossing (Rav link) hat:

It is a Loopy Ewe club pattern. I used Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (it has cashmere!!). You cast on 200 stitches, and a very clever cable pattern draws it in.

The designer is from Central CA, and clearly doesn't need a hat for warmth, because as I started the pattern I realized that it was a "beanie". In other words it doesn't cover one's ears!! If you live here...and you'd like to keep your ears, you do want them covered. So I knit an extra round of cables (and I think I'd knit a second extra round if I did it again.) This should be available in a couple months on the Loopy Ewe web site. The cables are a PIA, but the effect is lovely.

Next up, is a "pillbox". I always liked the way they look, but could never find a good standard pattern. I like this one Winter White Pillbox (Rav link), and I had the yarn in my small stash.

I like this hat because it is not tight to the head, and it takes longer to develop "hat head". And frankly, as I said earlier, if you want to keep your ears, you need a very warm hat when the temperature is in the single digits.

I used Reynolds Blizzard, a chunky alpaca/acrylic blend. It knits up really fast. I needed about a skein and a third, so about 90 yards of chunky.

Mods were that I eliminated a pattern repeat and I added two rows to the brim.

I will probably make this again, but I'd like to make the brim a little tighter. So a smaller needle or a few stitches less...I'll have to see.

So there you have it, that's what I've been up to. The tendinitis is still flaring occasionally, but it is much improved. I think the Kauni sweater kicked it off, so I am very careful how much I work on it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


This is serious, please follow along if you can. This is to the folks who are wailing with disbelief that an unconstitutional requirement in the "health care" (I use the descriptor loosely) bill was found unconstitutional, and that we are all now going down the tubes....that we are killing sick children and more blah, blah... Listen up.

The single payer advocates among you, who think it is the holy grail of social justice. Who are adamant that everyone who needs a liver transplant will get one, who don't understand rationing.... Well, listen carefully.... it is happening NOW, TODAY, and if you're a smarty boots, you'll find one of these companies and buy stock. I know for a fact, that there is a booming market for medical businesses that advise hospitals on which medicare/medicaid patients to admit, and which to treat and release. How I know is that I have acquaintances who have begun work with said businesses, and have moved like lightning up through the ranks. You need a job? Find one of these businesses. They are desperate for personnel. I am serious. Medical/technical training is the preferred background.

It is subtle, but here's a simple version of how it works. A medicare/medicaid patient comes into an ED (formerly ER) and is evaluated by a ED doc...he/she does the usual H&P, and begins treatment for the problem. If the hospital has an "account" with said business the ED case manager will call the intake personnel (who do nothing, but answer the phones and take information), and will walk though a list of evaluation questions, developed by the company to discern whether M/M will PAY for an admission. The information is passed to a doctor who is an expert in the rules of M/M and he/she sends his recommendation to the hospital. If it is determined that the admission will not be covered, the patient is treated and released. The ED doc (who really must focus on her/his medical evaluation), does not usually override this decision. You see, even a tiny hospital in podunk can lose over a million dollars a year on denied medicare/medicaid admissions. Most hospitals run on razor sharp margins, and cannot afford this kind of deficit. So they contract with a business whose job it is to keep abreast of medicare rules, and then they are billed per case. As medicare sets the bar higher for admission and treatment, the business responds. Hospitals save millions, even with the contract and case billing. My "informant" tells me that they are now also evaluating for certain diagnostic testing. It makes my blood run cold, really.

So how easy would it be for this to be extended to the rest of the unwashed masses in a single payer system? Our treatment would be based on whether or not the system will pay. And as $$ get tighter, the options will decrease. As someone who can actually see medicare in the future, it makes me sick...but then what?

ETA: So I guess Obama, Pelosi, were right!! It will decrease unemployment!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I never watch SOTU addresses....

..... as Aurora Greenway in "Terms of Endearment" says, "blahhh, blahhh, blahhh..."

Instead, we attended a fun performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" .... Much, much better choice.

However, I've been hearing some good things about Ryans' rebuttal. Particularly, from an evenly split (between R & D) focus group. They liked that he spoke in facts....a little like Sargent Friday I suppose. But this quote is the tipping point. This vision is just so compelling (why yes, I am a little nuts, why do you ask?), from Jonah Goldberg at the National Review Online.

Ryan never comes across as a bomb-thrower, but tonight he talked like an ER nurse trying to talk down a violent hippy from a bad acid trip, which is pretty impressive given the substance of what he was saying.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The best compliment ...

... a knitter can get is when someone ASKS for MORE of her/his hand knits....don'tcha think?

Well it happened twice to me recently.

Over the holiday my sister-in-law asked if she should wash and dry one of the knit caps I made for my father-in-law. He's 90 and always cold, and wears little knit watchcaps in the house. Well he's been wearing the one I made for him two years ago, and well it's stretched and worn out. (Never mind that I made him a "Turn a Square" last year, and an Israeli soldier watch cap this year. You know old guys...creatures of habit.) On the way home, I mentioned to my husband that I probably had some of that gray yarn around and could make a duplicate. He suggested a black and gold Steeler version. And while we were on the subject he wanted ANOTHER pair of Fuzzy Feet, in Steeler black and gold, only more gold. (I made him a predominantly black pair in 2005.) So I did what any good knitter does. I immediately ordered yarn for these two items.

And yesterday this is what my morning looked like:

A cup of blueberry tea, and my father-in-law's Steeler cap in progress.

Finished!!! Just in time... wear for the Super Bowl.

Can't do better than that!! Fuzzy Feet will be in progress soon...but husband has black and gold handknit socks to wear on the big day. Not rushing the Fuzzy Feet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bad news....

.... I've already broken one of my resolutions.

I was walking back to work through a nearby surface parking lot, after taking some time off for lunch (read: actual knitting time). A woman pulled up next to me and asked if I had any change for the meters. She had none. I had 3 quarters which I handed to her, and as she was looking for a bill to give me , I just told her not to worry..."have a good day", and walked along. OH NO!! Another RAK...albeit small. Well, this one has absolutely no strings.....Whew!

Good news...

Apparently, Virginia (Georgia, Tennessee, etc.) and Central PA have exchanged climates. Well maybe not completely, but while everywhere around us is getting FEET of snow. We have almost none. It very cold though. I went out without my hat today (what knitter does this?) and I'm not sure I still have ears. This seems like good news now, but wait for the drought come July because we have no snow melt.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Maybe now is ...

...the time to explain why I may be swearing off RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) for a long time. This and "eat more bacon" are my resolutions for 2011. I don't think I'll have any trouble keeping them. There were two "events" but I'd like to describe just the last one.

I have "season" tickets to a professional ballet company about 3 hours away from where we live (you can figure out the rest, I 'd like to keep this as potentially "search proof" as possible). We get a "three-pack" and this year the ballets were poorly scheduled (for us). I had to take the Nutcracker as part of our series. Now this is not usually a problem as December weather is usually not too bad and driving is not an issue. (February, on the other hand, is a b&^ch.) When you are a season "patron" you have a few options with your tickets. 1) You can exchange them for another performance day; 2) You can exchange them for another ballet in the series; 3) You can turn them back for a tax write off. They are very liberal in their policies, and very accommodating. I have no complaints.

This year, however, the weather looked like it was going to be a problem and we were trying to decide what to do with our tickets. (I've described our run in with black ice before, and we have been very careful ever since.) As we were thinking about our options, I had what I thought was a brainstorm. Why not offer them to a family member who was struggling with a recurrence of a serious illness? She probably needed a night out, with a friend, daughter or family member, and the tickets would be put to good use. (BTW, they are excellent high end seats.) My DH was delighted with this suggestion, so I got in touch with said relative, who was happy to receive them. I exchanged them (a week in advance) for the date she requested and all was well....for the moment. THE NIGHT BEFORE the performance at 6:30 pm, she called and left a message at our home and said she was too ill to go, and could I exchange them for another night!! (I might add here that I didn't get home until after 8:00 pm that evening, which is when I got the message.) Now, I was sympathetic at this point because this is the nature of her physical condition. I wanted to call her back, but didn't have the number at home. I called my sister in law for the number and she said "Oh yeah, I have it here I RSVP'd for the party." (!!!) What party, I ask? THE PARTY SHE WAS HAVING THE NIGHT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO THE BALLET!! I was dumbfounded. This means she KNEW she wasn't going to the performance at least a week in advance (she mailed the invitations a week earlier), and instead of calling me ASAP and saying her plans changed and could I make the exchange for another night... She, didn't outright fib, but was disingenuous in the extreme. I called and she gave me the story about her condition, and I listened and asked if she wanted an alternate date, then told her I'd try. Steaming all the while. At this point, I didn't KNOW if I could exchange them, and if I couldn't I'd have to make another choice (see above). And I had about four box office hours the next day to do it. And this is before Christmas, and I had other things I planned to do. Sitting on the phone was not one of them. I vacillated from anger to incredulity to simply ticked.

I exchanged them successfully, and then cut my communication. I didn't trust myself to speak to her again. I find I'm still stunned by this. I was hoping by now I'd have some distance. No such luck.

Can you imagine?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hai...I'm back

What an odd holiday it has been. While most bloggers were waxing nostalgic and posting pictures of candles, firelight, good food, and family, we surgery. Very successful dental surgery, but not without complications. Complications that made it impossible to have very many treats (other than adult beverages). Consequently, we both LOST weight over the most indulgent holiday of the year. Out of sheer frustration, I did make an awesome quiche on Christmas. Even DH liked it. Don't tell him that it contained about a pound of very fine cheese. But heck he had to eat something. And this is a man who eats a huge salad EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and couldn't. So anyway, we had a very low key Christmas day. Culminating in a visit to a very dedicated dentist to have stitches removed the next day which just happened to be a Sunday.... A blistering cold Sunday.

Anyway, the rest of my time looked like this, in no particular order:

Finished three ornaments, that look like this (the first has already been gifted):

I'm currently working on a fourth that has pinks and grays.

I've hardly knit a stitch. My tendinitis was shifting from nearly unbearable to not too bad. Knitting made it worse. Beading, not so much. Which explains the ornament explosion. However, I have to get back in game shape for this:

Third class down is me. I finished the sample on December 22nd. Now we wait. I do have until March, however, I have to work up a couple more in different bead sizes, just for fun.

We finally got to another hockey game!

The new Consol Energy Center Arena.

Your [my?] Pittsburgh Penguins!

We even saw a faux hat trick. It was originally announced that Sidney Crosby had made the goal, and the hats hit the ice. Then Matt Cooke was awarded the goal and Sidney the assist. It was pretty amusing just the same. That's Cooke's picture on the scoreboard. Anybody know what happens to the hats?

My MIL celebrated her 92nd birthday by going to the hospital nearly in diabetic coma. (Not enough cake!) She's fine now. FIL will be reaching the 90th milestone on Sunday.

We're enjoying the last few days without traffic and short lines at grocery stores and post offices.