Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things That Scare Me or Freak Me Out
  1. snakes
  2. calling people I don't know
  3. fire/explosions
  4. the current financial crisis
  5. cats refusing to come in at night
  6. a room full of people I don't know
  7. looking stupid
  8. being stupid
  9. stepping barefoot on a slug
  10. three words: President Sarah Palin


Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Do you suppose if I put an assortment of random musings into a bulleted list I can make them look like a coherent post? Hey, it happens all the time in corporate Powerpoints: I might as well give it a try.
  • Yesterday we all went over to the Colonial Craft Day in Chelmsford. Did I bring a camera? Of course not. The weather didn't cooperate as well as it might have, but I managed to stay dry in the spinning tent and to talk more or less coherently to various visitors as they watched me, Judy and Penny spin. Penny had her great wheel, and Judy had a Country Craftsman that at least looked authentic; they both wore Colonial garb. I had Maggie and wore blue jeans, but no one seemed to mind. Miss B was intrigued by the blacksmith demo, and we discovered that Taz really likes popcorn.
  • On Friday I called the Poughkeepsie Marriott to verify that they were really booked solid for Rhinebeck weekend. They were, but the woman I spoke with suggested calling back Sunday, which I did, rather skeptically. They actually had a room — more than one, apparently, as I was given a choice of bed configurations. If you're trying to get a room there, call, because the online reservation system doesn't necessarily know about cancellations, and keep trying.
  • I love Tina Fey.
  • Speaking of politics, I regret to announce that Fluffy has suspended her campaign to devote her full attention to urgent domestic matters.
  • Which reminds me: I need to finish mostly frogging Wild Thing. I dropped a stitch way, way back, tried to fix it with a crochet hook, didn't think it looked right. Call me crazy, and I know you will, but if it would bug me to wear it I sure can't give it away.
  • Actually, the more knitting I have to do this nervous week, the better.
Did it work?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Sky

It rained all day yesterday and today, and more of the same is forecast for tomorrow. It's for just such occasions that I save memories of Rangeley.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Flowers: Another Little Mystery

Here's another unidentified flower: does anyone know what it is? I have no clue. It looks related to those purple/lavender things that grow like crazy near highways, but I don't know what those are either.

I had been dithering about Rhinebeck, but I am going! With Miss B and Lisa. Yay!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Everything Groovy

Meander has a new bend or two since you last saw her: we went to the junior-high open house tonight, which afforded a few opportunities for mindless knitting. She doesn't need another picture yet, though.

The brioche scarf, however, is growing rapidly — big needles and bulky yarn don't hurt, of course. It finally struck me at knitting last night that the colors reminded me of Maurice Sendak's artwork, so it is now the Wild Thing.

It makes my heart sing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Not only have I been actually knitting lately, I have a new scarf pattern for you. May I present Meander?

She is a braided ribbed cable, and she's reversible.


I'm working on a chart; in the meantime, here are the written directions.

Yarn: whatever you like. I'm using Heritage solid sock yarn. I'll have a better estimate of yarn requirements as I go along, but I'd guess at least 600 yards (I have two 400+-yard skeins).
Needles: quite a few sizes bigger than you would normally use with the yarn. I'm using size 8.

Cast on 64 sts (or any multiple of 16 sts).
Rows 1-3: *p1, k1.
Row 4: *Sl 4 sts to cable needle and hold in back, (p1, k1) twice, (p1, k1) twice from cable needle.
Rows 5-11: *p1, k1.
Row 12: (p1, k1) twice, *sl 4 sts to cable needle and hold in front, (p1, k1) twice, (p1, k1) twice from cable needle, last 4 sts (p1, k1) twice.
Rows 13-19: *p1, k1.
Repeat rows 4-19 for pattern.

Enjoy. As soon as I get it charted, I'll put it in the sidebar and on Ravelry.

(Permission given for personal use only; feel free to link, but do not cut and paste; this copyrighted telecast is presented by the authority of Major Lea— oops, never mind that last bit.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Today's official ToT is ten great things that happened last summer. I can easily think of ten, but you've read about all of them already, so I'm rolling my own again.

Ten Things I Did Before Eight This Morning
  1. 6:15: Wake to alarm. Decide not to get up yet. Hit snooze.
  2. 6:17: Wake to Miss B requiring lunch money. Decide I might as well get up.
  3. 6:20: Drag sorry butt downstairs. Prepare Taz's medicine.
  4. 6:25: Give Taz his first cup of water (by tube). Check his diaper, find it bone-dry. Good.
  5. 6:32: Start laundry Taz generated last night (had to change the entire boy and the bed).
  6. 7:20: Go to fetch Taz's wheelchair, which last night I used as a drying rack for a sheet. Discover that Callie (well, I don't know it was Callie, but she does this sort of thing) has peed on the sheet and the wheelchair.
  7. 7:21-25: While cleaning chair, consider gift-wrapping Callie and presenting her with my compliments to the first available coyote.
  8. 7:26: Taz's van arrives. I have been dealing with the wheelchair instead of giving Taz his meds. Explain situation to driver, a man of saintly patience.
  9. 7:27: Give Taz his meds. Discover that he is also wet and change his diaper and clothes. Marvel at what he can do with what can't be more than a tablespoon of liquid.
  10. 7:36: Put Taz on van. Seriously consider blowing off work in favor of a nice long nap. Shower instead.
Admittedly, steps 1-5 are daily routine. So is step 10. Steps 6-9, however, are more than any one morning should dish out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Their Nature

When I came in the house this evening Achilles, who really should stay in after dark, went out before I could stop him. Thus I felt responsible for getting him back in, but I knew there was no point in trying until he'd been out for a couple of hours. Starting an hour or so ago I stood out there whistling and calling him for five to ten minutes at a stretch, at frequent intervals (roughly between innings). I neither saw nor heard any sign of him — just the echoes of my calls bouncing off my neighbors' houses and the coyotes whooping it up on the nearby conservation land.

By the time the game ended I had worked myself into what my grandmother would have called a state, so Grant sympathetically went downstairs to give it a try, opened the door, and let the waiting cat in.

Cats and husbands: can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.

Also, baseball is an incredibly stupid game.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two Scarves, No Waiting

The brioche-stitch scarf is coming along nicely. Once I get brioche stitch going I find it completely mindless, as should I forget what I'm doing next a quick look at the work reminds me.

One of the charms of brioche stitch is that it closes up after the first few rows, forming a deep and squishy rib — at least that's what it does if you use a smooth, uniform yarn. In this scarf I'm using a thick-and-thin bulky wool yarn and a brushed mohair yarn together; neither of them wants to behave in an orderly fashion, so it's an interesting look. Ordinarily I'm not big on textured yarns as I feel like I'm cheating somehow, but I'm willing to let them do at least part of the work in this case.

Robin asked me at knitting this morning to post the pattern for this scarf; rather than reinvent the wheel I'll refer you to the instructions for two-color brioche on the brioche-stitch site (the Internet is such a wonderful thing). My scarf is 29 stitches wide, counting edge stitches, which are necessary in flat brioche.

Meanwhile, I've been working on a pattern for a second scarf so I won't have to carry those two big cones around (although I could just wind some yarn off, the biggest advantage of working from cones is having to weave in ends just at the beginning and the end, and I don't give it up easily). I really like the look of a braided ribbed cable (ribbed, and therefore reversible), done in sock yarn on size-8 needles so it has lots of give. I tried a 1x1 rib on the left, 2x2 on the right. The 2x2 looks more cable-y, the 1x1 more subtle; I haven't decided which to use for the scarf yet, but I'm leaning toward the 1x1. So that will be my portable/commuting project for the next week or so.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Sky

This one is from last week, Wednesday, I think, or whenever the moon was full. I love full moons — I was born during one, but I don't think that has much to do with it. They're so striking it's hard not to like them.

I frogged and restarted the brioche-stitch scarf; it's now quite a bit narrower, but still plenty wide enough, and maybe three inches long. I forgot the soothing quality of brioche: it comes out looking really cool, or at least I think so, but then I'm easily entertained, and I can always tell where I am just by looking at it. The only drawback to this scarf is that I'm using two huge cones of yarn, at least a sweater's worth on each of them — in fact I experienced a slight pang at using them for a scarf when I really should save them for a sweater, but then I've been saving them for several years, and here they still are, and what is with this really should, anyway? But the cones are sort of awkward to carry around. So I have a pattern in mind for a second scarf that uses sock yarn; now I just have to decide which sock yarn to use. Here too I have large quantities of yarn that have been around for a while, and I keep looking at them and saying, "but that would make such pretty socks..." as though it made sense to hoard 17 years' worth of sock yarn. It's not even as though I couldn't buy more of most of this yarn, if it came to that. Eventually I'll figure it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Flowers, Also, Knitting

These are scary times indeed on Wall Street. I'm not really clear on 1) in what the latest bailout consists, other than an inconceivable amount of money 2) how likely it is to work. There seems to be general agreement that if it doesn't work we are all neck-deep in voodoo and sinking fast. Therefore la la la la flowers...

The last of the hydrangeas are in bloom in front of the building where I work. These are apparently some kind of mutant, and I think they're really cool. The color scheme doesn't hurt either.

La la la knitting...

Brioche stitch has come back to me, just as you all said it would. (Thanks!) I'm doing it in a thick-and thin wool yarn and a brushed mohair. Unfortunately, underestimating the unruliness of the yarns, which so far are showing no inclination whatsoever to line up and squish together in orderly fashion, I went a little overboard on the width and will cut it down from 40 to 30 stitches. I did wonder if these were appropriate yarns even to try in brioche, but so far I'm rather liking the contrast. We'll see how it goes. I'm working on a Red Scarf, of course — not that it's red, if you want to be a pigment pedant, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good Material

Yesterday, after taking the summer off, my local knitting group reconvened. I was totally thrilled to see everyone, and I took several pictures to mark the occasion, not one of which came out well. So much for my thinking that my photography skills were improving. Apparently much depends on my choice of victim: given a sufficiently photogenic subject, not even I can mess up.

You see what I mean. Note the dog nonchalantly mumbling along behind. Clearly he knows which family member offers the best chance of dropped goodies.

Meanwhile, I seem to have forgotten how to do brioche stitch. Am I beyond all hope?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


No, no, an actual green frog. Such knitting as I've been doing has actually been going pretty well, but, as is so often the case, I have nothing to show for it at the moment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Today's ToT is ten simple things that make me happy, and, with my anxiety rampant over economics and politics, the timing is superb. I was thinking of posting thoughts and/or pictures on each of these, but instead I'll go with letting them evoke whatever images they may for you. (Except, on the first one, please substitute a name of your choice.)

Ten Simple Things That Make Me Happy
  1. quality time with Grant
  2. family
  3. friends
  4. a snuggly cat
  5. fiber arts
  6. blue skies
  7. trees
  8. blue water
  9. woodland walking
  10. bright colors

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meme-ory Lane

There are a couple of posts rattling around in my head, but they require thought, of which I'm not capable at the moment. Therefore I steal from Margene...

Music Meme

The rules:
A) Go to Music Outfitters
B) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline and/or italicize your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about)

I had trouble with some of these, as I liked them then but dislike them now, or associate them with my first serious boyfriend (i.e. really dislike them), or disliked them then but can take them or leave them now, or didn't much care for them then but now associate them with a good or funny memory. #3, Disco Lady, for instance, always makes me think of Grant's rendition of an SNL bit consisting of reciting the lyrics in a serious, precise voice reminiscent of Robert MacNeil (as in MacNeil/Lehrer: am I dating myself yet?). So I did it based on what I would now do if I heard the song on the radio, adding a couple more categories.
  • bold italic: turn up the volume and sing along loudly
  • bold: turn up the volume and sing along softly
  • italic: leave the volume where it is but smile nostalgically and possibly hum
  • plain: leave it be if I'm not paying attention, maybe look for something better if I am (or I don't know the song)
  • strikethrough: change the station
  • red strikethrough: lunge violently at the radio and break one or more fingernails trying to change the station as fast as possible
You know how smell is supposed to be the most powerful memory stimulant? There are smells that evoke powerful images for me, but a song can take me back to what I was doing and who I was with the first time or the last time I heard it.

  1. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney and Wings
  2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee
  3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor
  4. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons
  5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry
  6. Kiss And Say Goodbye, Manhattans
  7. Love Machine (Part 1), The Miracles
  8. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
  9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright
  10. A Fifth Of Beethoven, Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band
  11. Sara Smile, Daryl Hall and John Oates
  12. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band
  13. I Write The Songs, Barry Manilow
  14. Fly, Robin, Fly, Silver Convention
  15. Love Hangover, Diana Ross
  16. Get Closer, Seals and Crofts
  17. More, More, More, Andrea True Connection
  18. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
  19. Misty Blue, Dorothy Moore
  20. Boogie Fever, Sylvers
  21. I'd Really Love To See You Tonight, England Dan and John Ford Coley
  22. You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate
  23. Love Hurts, Nazareth
  24. Get Up And Boogie, Silver Convention
  25. Take It To The Limit, Eagles
  26. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
  27. Sweet Love, Commodores
  28. Right Back Where We Started From, Maxine Nightingale
  29. Theme From "S.W.A.T", Rhythm Heritage
  30. Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players
  31. You Should Be Dancing, Bee Gees
  32. You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, Lou Rawls
  33. Golden Years, David Bowie
  34. Moonlight Feels Right, Starbuck
  35. Only Sixteen, Dr. Hook
  36. Let Your Love Flow, Bellamy Brothers
  37. Dreamweaver, Gary Wright
  38. Turn The Beat Around, Vicki Sue Robinson
  39. Lonely Night (Angel Face), The Captain and Tennille
  40. All By Myself, Eric Carmen
  41. Love To Love You Baby, Donna Summer
  42. Deep Purple, Donny and Marie Osmond
  43. Theme From "Mahogany", Diana Ross
  44. Sweet Thing, Rufus
  45. That's The Way I Like It, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
  46. A Little Bit More, Dr. Hook
  47. Shannon, Henry Gross
  48. If You Leave Me Now, Chicago
  49. Lowdown, Boz Scaggs
  50. Show Me The Way, Peter Frampton
  51. Dream On, Aerosmith
  52. I Love Music (Pt. 1), O'Jays
  53. Say You Love Me, Fleetwood Mac
  54. Times Of Your Life, Paul Anka
  55. Devil Woman, Cliff Richard
  56. Fooled Around And Fell In Love, Elvin Bishop
  57. Convoy, C.W. McCall
  58. Welcome Back, John Sebastian
  59. Sing A Song, Earth, Wind and Fire
  60. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Tavares
  61. I'll Be Good To You, Brothers Johnson
  62. Shop Around, The Captain and Tennille
  63. Saturday Night, Bay City Rollers
  64. Island Girl, Elton John
  65. Let's Do It Again, Staple Singers
  66. Let 'Em In, Paul McCartney and Wings
  67. Baby Face, Wing and A Prayer Fife and Drum Corps
  68. This Masquerade, George Benson
  69. Evil Woman, Electric Light Orchestra
  70. Wham Bam, Silver
  71. I'm Easy, Keith Carradine
  72. Wake Up Everybody (Pt. 1), Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes
  73. Summer, War
  74. Let Her In, John Travolta
  75. Fox On The Run, Sweet
  76. Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac
  77. Got To Get You Into My Life, Beatles
  78. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love), Bee Gees
  79. Getaway, Earth, Wind and Fire
  80. She's Gone, Daryl Hall and John Oates
  81. Rock And Roll Music, Beach Boys
  82. Still The One, Orleans
  83. You're My Best Friend, Queen
  84. With Your Love, Jefferson Starship
  85. Slow Ride, Foghat
  86. Who'd She Coo, Ohio Players
  87. Walk Away From Love, David Ruffin
  88. Baby, I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton
  89. Young Hearts Run Free, Candi Staton
  90. Breaking Up's Hard To Do, Neil Sedaka
  91. Money Honey, Bay City Rollers
  92. Tear The Roof Off The Sucker, Parliament
  93. Junk Food Junkie, Larry Groce
  94. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again, Barry Manilow
  95. Rock And Roll All Nite, Kiss
  96. Disco Duck, Rick Dees
  97. The Boys Are Back In Town, Thin Lizzy
  98. Take The Money And Run, Steve Miller Band
  99. Squeeze Box, The Who
  100. Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.), Glen Campbell

Ahhhh... OK, back to 2008. Anything happen while I was gone? I sure hope not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the Winners Are...

When it was time to choose the random-drawing winner of the Bridge Puzzle Contest I numbered the entries in the order I had received them. Not wanting to mess with little bits of paper and fearing human bias in number-picking, I used an actual online random-number generator, and it picked... 7. Some things are meant to be. Lisa wins and picks the Smooshy. Abigail wins for first correct answer (correctly emailed) and gets the Bearfoot. Congratulations to you both, ladies: enjoy your prizes!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Sky

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Flowers: Larger Than Life

The hibiscus isn't quite that big: it's partly the camera angle. It's a really big hibiscus, though. The sunflower is a sunflower, to wit, big.

Don't forget to enter the Bridge Puzzle Contest if you haven't already. All you have to do is either send me an email or leave a comment on the contest post (not this here post, the contest post). You have until midnight tonight EDT. Good luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later

Twice in my life I've experienced days when I kept saying, "This can't possibly be real; I must be about to wake up," knowing all the time that I was truly awake. The first was the day Taz's tumor was diagnosed; the second was 9/11. Only, on 9/11, the rest of the country went through it with me. We had felt complacent and secure; it seemed that nothing could touch us. We went through mourning for that careless ease and anger at the evil men who had taken it from us. It seemed impossible that I could find my bearings again.

A year later I wrote:
As for me, as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the only way I can try to make sense of it is to try to learn from it, and to act on what I've learned.

What have I learned? Life is short. Love is what makes me human. Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds hatred. Hatred can destroy me from within, if I let it. We all need each other. Freedom is precious.


I will not let anger at monstrous evil turn me into a monster. I will not let the monsters win.

I will hug my kids and enjoy my friends and smell the flowers and tell my husband I love him every day.

I will give to charity, both money and time.

I will get to know people who are different from me.

I will not sweat the small stuff.

I will not hold petty grudges.

I will be kind. We all do and say stupid things: I will cut others slack, as I would have it cut unto me.

Of course I don't live up to these ideals all the time (especially the last three), but they still work for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Very Little Knitting project went to the frog pond, and I restarted it on size-2 instead of size-0 needles.

Much better. Not that you can see it all that well, as I have yet to figure out how to get this camera to take reasonable pictures in indoor light, but you can tell I'm finally getting somewhere. [ETA: I improved matters by taking another picture in the cold light of day.] It's a very tiny piece of knitting, to be sure, but of such things is mojo rediscovered. I hope.

Don't forget to enter the Bridge Puzzle Contest if you haven't already. Leave a comment on the contest post to enter the random drawing. (You don't actually have to try to solve the puzzle unless you feel like it, but if you do, don't look at the comments until you're done.)

P.S. I hate the Red Sox with the white heat of a thousand suns.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Favorite Movie Songs

The first seven were easy; after that I had to think. I really do like all of these, though.
  1. Somewhere, West Side Story: For my money, this is the greatest movie song of all time. Quoted in Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet, another of my favorites, although not a movie song.
  2. Maybe This Time, Cabaret: I'm dating myself here, and picking an incredibly sappy song, but I've always loved it. Speaking of which...
  3. I Will Always Love You, The Bodyguard: Great song, although, truth to tell, I haven't actually seen the movie. I've never managed to hit that high note singing along with the radio, but I keep trying. Only if I'm alone, though.
  4. She's Like the Wind, Dirty Dancing: I basically agree with Roger Ebert that this isn't an especially good movie, but I do like the song.
  5. Pretty much anything from Coal Miner's Daughter: Sissy Spacek did an amazing acting job in this role and sang all the songs herself.
  6. It Must Have Been Love, Pretty Woman: I'm just a sucker for highly singable, sappy songs.
  7. Mrs. Robinson, The Graduate: I still know all the words, lo these (mumble) years later.
  8. Symphony #4 in A major, "Italian," by Felix Mendelssohn, Breaking Away: This might or might not qualify as a song, but it's the perfect choice of music for the movie.
  9. As Time Goes By, Casablanca: The classic movie song.
  10. Springtime for Hitler, The Producers: I wish I hadn't thought of this one; now I won't be able to get it out of my head.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Show and Tell

Thanks to everyone who entered the Bridge Puzzle Contest! Want to know what you can win?

Above, a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Evergreen colorway; below, a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in the Deep Seaflower colorway. (Not the greatest picture, sorry about that, but you can always look them up.) The winner of the random drawing gets to pick; the winner for the first right answer gets the remaining skein.

The contest will remain open until Friday at midnight. Since the answer has now been revealed in the comments, I don't suppose there's much point in continuing the answer-by-email routine, although you certainly may if you wish. So, if you want to try to figure it out yourself, don't look at the comments; if you want to enter the random drawing, either send me an email or leave a comment on yesterday's post so that I can keep track.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Back to School: A Contest

All day I've been thinking about today's post, and nothing's been coming to me — or rather too much has been coming to me, none of it appealing. Knitting, meh. Spinning, eh. Plastic flags, feh.

Which means it's time to fall back on plagiarism, er, I mean judicious borrowing, again. Miss B's math teacher is easing the class into the regular routine, which means over the weekend she had "fun" homework, specifically the following puzzle. Send your answer to rhymes with fuchsia [aht] cahmcahst [daht] net. There could be yarn riding on this; I'll decide what tomorrow, which will give me two posts for the price of one.

Al, Bob, Carl and Dave are all on the same side of a bridge they need to cross, but it's dark out and they have only one flashlight between them. The bridge can hold at most two people at a time, and whoever is crossing the bridge must have the flashlight with them. Each man walks at a different speed, so that each takes a different amount of time to cross the bridge:
A - 1 minute
B - 2 minutes
C - 5 minutes
D - 10 minutes
If two men cross together, they must walk at the slower man's speed.

They have 17 minutes to get all four of them across. How do they do it?

Note 1: this is a perfectly straightforward puzzle with no tricks. The flashlight can't shine a long way and can't be thrown. The men can't carry each other. The puzzle requires no math skills except logic and simple addition, which would explain why I was able to solve it.

Note 2: anyone who sends me an answer will be entered in the contest, even if their solution takes more than 17 minutes. The winner will be drawn at random. However, the first person to send me a correct answer will get a little something also.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Sky: Gone Batty

All right, so you can't really tell, but after taking roughly twelve million blurry blue pictures I managed to get one of some blurry blue sky complete with a blurry bat. They come out at dusk, every warm evening, and perform their aerobatics in search of tasty insects.

Whitenose syndrome hasn't gotten here yet, and I hope it never does. We have way too many bugs as it is.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Flowers: Bee Happy

These flowers look like some member of the lavendar family; I'll have to ask my neighbor, in whose yard they are growing. In any case, the bee likes them. I think this is the best bee-feeding picture I've taken all summer, and it was entirely accidental.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Very Little Knitting

The other day, I started this very little knitting project. Can you see the stitches? Me either. I quickly decided that I didn't really need to be driving myself around the bend trying to do cables on size 0 needles, especially in my current state of mind. I'm talking about knitting because, although I've (still) done very little of it lately, I have to get off politics or my head will explode. I was going to talk about baseball, but by lifelong conditioned reflex I'm afraid the Sox will blow it too. (Isn't that Pedroia something, though? The only way to get the ball past him is to throw it two feet over his head.)

I will be trying again as soon as I can find my 2s.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ease On Down the Road

The elementary school bus stop is located, officially, on the sidewalk across the street from our house. The kids are supposed to wait there, safely off the street, until the bus comes, then cross and board. In practice, no one bothers with the street-crossing routine, and the bus stop is in our driveway. For seven years Miss B joined the other kids there, sometimes waiting by the door to dash out through the rain, now and then catching the bus by the skin of her teeth. On the first day of school there are always four or five parents out there with cameras, getting pictures of the crew.

The junior-high and high-school bus stops where the road into our neighborhood hits the main drag, a couple of hundred yards from our front door — so this morning Miss B got a photo shoot all to herself.

Whereupon she turned...

walked away...

and was soon out of sight.

She came back this afternoon, though.

Later, there was knitting.

Some things never change.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Da... DUM. Da... DUM.

This is getting to be a habit with me, but, watching the train wreck/sharkfest in progress, I just can't look away. Yesterday it seemed that there was another Palin revelation every hour on the hour.

Some of them, I have to say, were pretty vile. If I never hear the name Bristol Palin again it will be too soon — the poor kid. A lot of people have maintained that because of her mother's views on contraception and abstinence-only sex ed, Bristol's pregnancy is fair game. But, to quote from a comment on one of my favorite lefty blogs:
Put the shoe on the other foot. Had Palin advocated a more fully-informed sex education with safe sex practices, abstinence-only advocates could say, “See! She gave her daughter too many choices, too many mixed messages! Children need firm definitions of right and wrong!” ...Palin’s daughter’s situation is anecdotal. It carries none of the weight of an argument grounded in statistical studies.... By all means, argue against Palin’s hard line stance on sex education and reproductive rights, but leave her daughter out of it, because it is too personal and not actually proof of anything.
Truth is, I don't want to go after Palin on family matters and decisions that are none of my or anyone else's business. I'll even give her a pass on Troopergate, and on the Alaska Independence Party, since there's no proof that she ever belonged to it or attended its convention (her husband was a member, however).

Her reformist branding is a different story. She measured her own rope in her acceptance speech when she said, "I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere." Um, not exactly. She campaigned for governor on that bridge, abandoning the project only when it became a national laughingstock. Not only that, she hired a lobbyist with ties to Jack Abramoff to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for her hometown of Wasilla (population 6700 at the time) while she was mayor. I sure wish my town had a lobbyist like that: we'd never need another property-tax override.

But she did take on the entrenched bureaucracy, right? Well, not so much: it seems that she was a director of Alaska senator Ted Stevens's 527 group and happily accepted his help in her run for governor, only turning on him afterward.

The person I really want to see held accountable, though, is McCain. How could he choose as a running mate someone he'd met only once, and whom his team clearly vetted in the most cursory way, if at all? The story goes that he wanted Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, but neither was acceptable to the far right; he didn't want to go with a "predictable" choice of Romney or Pawlenty, and that left him with Palin and a choice to either spring his surprise and get the DNC off the front page, or take the time to vet her properly. He bet the house, and now he's stuck with her. So Mr. "Country First" Maturity played junior-high-style games with the most important decision of his candidacy.

How can anyone still support this guy?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Coming Around Again

Taz goes back to school tomorrow; Miss B follows on Wednesday. I will not pretend that I greet this return to what I like to think of as a normal schedule with anything other than unrestrained glee. Taz in particular will benefit from a slightly more strenuous routine.

And Miss B is as prepared as she can be for junior high, having acquired all the pens, paper, notebooks, and other paraphernalia that the school assures us are required for the enterprise. She is cleared for takeoff...

high may she fly.