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!!