Friday, December 26, 2008

This blog is moving

Unfortunately, reducing expenses means I don't want to pay $49.50 per year to maintain this Typepad blog.

I am moving to:

I love Typepad.  It's been great - up virtually all the time and great support people.  It's just a money thing.

With a tear in my eye, I invite you to visit on the new blog.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


So, I'm trying out Twitter this week.  The reason I signed up is I heard an interview on NPR with Tim O'Reilly.  O'Reilly is a VIP in the technical publishing world.  When Tim O'Reilly, who is a busy man, says he has time for Twitter because it creates a sense of connection with his friends and family, well then I think I should check it out.  He says he actually feels closer to his sister (or was it brother?) because he sees some of the smaller details of her daily life that he wouldn't otherwise know about.

I can see where you might develop a sense of kinship with fellow tweeters.  You hear what they are making for dinner, what they find amusing, ... what they are doing with their time.  Virtual friendships might develop like friendships I had at work - not too close, but fun and informative.

I'll stick with it for a bit to see how it goes.  My goal is to have something interesting to say, which is difficult when I live the most boring life on the planet!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

JLG Stocking

Jan's stocking is fini.  Whew - only 5 more sleeps until Christmas morning.  I was a working on it almost every day during the last two weeks!

The pattern was easy to follow and Meg Swansen's charts were easy to adapt and make larger and easy to read in MS Excel.  My Ravelry project here; Meg's pattern here.

If I were going to do another Christmas stocking, I might do a regular, turned heel instead of an afterthought heel.  I screwed up the opening for the heel and used a few rows instead of just one for the opening - because I cut one of the floats.  She says in the pattern to be careful not to cut the floats, but did I follow instructions?

The foot is large, but not as large as it looks in the photo.  I was closer to the foot and the top was angled away when I took the picture, so the foot looks bigger than it is in real life.

Next up:  something for me :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


20081204 To Date This is what -10.5% looks like over a 19 months.  The Big step down toward the right is October, 2008.


There is all that red, and just a little float of green at the top.


Here's hoping a blue election can turn my investments green.



Having your head in the clouds takes on new meaning here in the Sacramento Valley of California.  The ground fog is dense and I can see wisps of it float by from the 2nd story window of my house.  It is actually a ground-level cloud.  I used to think fog was mystical when I lived on the coast of CA, but this valley fog is just plain cold and damp.  Still, any moisture is good for the plants in this draught year.  (Picture links to others taken this morning.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Copyright on House Socks

I hate Copyrightphobia, the fear of infringing upon somebody's copyright.  I am upset by the Copyright Police.  It makes me nervous when I enter a pattern in Ravelry that is a pattern derived from somebody else's pattern.  For example, the Philosopher's House Socks, from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Socks Knitters, Book One", inspired me to knit these:

The color is most accurate in the second close up photo.

I didn't use the yarn weight specified, so none of the stitch counts in the pattern were used.  I didn't use the specified arch expansion stitch pattern, but made up one similar.  I did use the Upstream Sock Architecture and Master Numbers from the back of the book.  I would say this is a derivative work.

So, please tell me.  Whose pattern is this?  When I create the project in Ravelry, what should I use for a pattern name?  Could I donate these socks to a fund raiser without having to ask permission?  According to Jennifer Tocker's Copyright FAQ, this is a derivative work and I would hold the copyright on the derivative pattern, but Cat Bordhi would hold the copyright on the original design.  But if I wanted to sell the pattern (I don't), would I give Cat Bordhi a portion of the proceeds?

I just want to have fun.  Heck, I don't even want to go so far as reading Jennifer Tocker's Copyright FAQs, although I have browsed this very useful and informative web page.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on knitting and craft fairs

Warning: Introspection sans photos here.

I've been thinking about Ted's comments - after I got over the feeling of impending abandonment by a super-talented virtual knitting Friend.  I think none of us should make a decision to give up something we have loved..., we shouldn't make that decision in the low light of the cold seasons.  It's time to hibernate, but have dreams of coming out to a warm, sun-bathed Spring where everybody smiles and says how nice it is to see us again.

If a big part of the reason we knit is so that other people will oooh and ahh over our work, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.  I admit that when I knit something I think is especially nice I want others to appreciate it too.  I need to get over that.

Last weekend was the Friends of the Library Craft Fair.  I learned quite a bit about what other people want.  The Noro scarf went before the doors were officially open.  The neck warmers made of handspun yarn were appreciated, but had to be marked down to $10 before they sold.  The old-fashioned items and wash clothes were still on the tables at the end of the day, but the felted catnip mice were gone shortly after we opened.  The seaman's scarf sold for a fair price.  Hats and colorful mittens were good, especially if they were glittery.

Next year I'll have to figure out how to balance what I want to knit with what might sell at the craft fair (no more pi shawls).  What I might enjoy making:  fair isle hats and mittens; thrummed mittens; seaman's scarves with lace patterns.  To balance these things that I would enjoy knitting, there would be some things I believe others want that I might not enjoy making so much:  more felted catnip mice and some felted dog bones (dogs like to carry their toys around in their slobbery mouths); knitted toys; other terminally cute items.

So, I'll keep knitting, but when knitting for others I'll knit what they might want instead of what I think they should want.  And to make it interesting, in order to donate items for a fund raising event I'll have to design the items myself (or get permission from the various holders of the copyrights).  There's the challenge - graduating to design.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shawls are not popular

20081119 Neck Warmer.jpgThis is the penultimate photo of items for the craft fair, a neck warmer.  It was fast and easy, a pattern from Faina Goberstein.  The yarn is some mohair/wool handspun I bought at the Kings Mountain Art Fair in Woodside, CA, several years ago.  I'm glad the yarn finally has a purpose, other than just looking pretty in my stash.

Speaking of Art Craft Fairs, Chico's Friends of the Library Craft Fair is this Saturday.  This neck warmer is priced at $8 for sale.  There will be many items for sale at low prices. 

About the title of this post, "Shawls are not popular"... I spent about 3 months knitting on a lace pi shawl.  It was supposed to be a gift, but the intended giftee didn't want a shawl.  That should have been my first clue that shawls aren't as loved by the rest of the world as they are by me.  I decided to raffle off the shawl to raise money for the library, since nobody would pay the $100-plus dollars it is worth.  At least I think it's worth over $100US.  It was on display in the library for two weeks and raised a total of $10 in raffle ticket money.  F*ck!  Last night at a CFOL meeting we passed an envelope around for people to buy tickets and raised about $80 more dollars, which makes me feel a little better... but I think the people buying the tickets were doing it because they are active library supporters, not because they think the shawl is particularly wonderful.

You know what is popular?  Felted mice.  I should be able to raise about $128 for the 32 mice.  Sh*t!

... which brings up the question, "Why do you knit?"

I think for me, it's the process and the product.  I've learned a lot about knitting the right product for others, and it isn't necessarily shawls.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friends of the Library Craft Fair

CFOL Bookmark

The Friends of the Library (1st Annual!) Craft Fair is on November 22nd - we meet tomorrow to organize and price.

I just finished these bookmarks.  They are crocheted with cotton thread, stuck to a stiff piece of paper, and wrapped in cellophane.  I have no idea what to charge for them.  J thinks they are worth $5, but doesn't think anybody in Chico will pay that much.  She's probably right.  We'll see what the committee says tomorrow.

I'm making a declaration now.  I will never do production knitting/crafting again!  This is supposed to be fun.  Making a few bookmarks is fun.  Making 11 bookmarks is work.

I do hope people show up for this craft fair.  If they don't then many of my friends will be getting these for Christmas :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Protect Marriage

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

This video is funny and current.

Progress on JLG Christmas Stocking

20081112 Stocking ProgressThe JLG Christmas Stocking is still in progress.  I'm done with the top and will begin the foot next.  I love reading Meg Swansen's directions - pithy, just like her mom's.

She gives you plenty of information to complete the stocking.  The chart is complete and the text is informative.  The text is more like a discussion than line-by-line instructions.  Makes you think.  Makes you look at your knitting and figure things out.  Does my number of stitches make sense with what Meg is saying?  Why yes it does, and I'm feeling pretty good about this stocking right now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

20080910 Vietnam Era Helicopter at Fruita MemorialI'm thinking of all the boys and girls my age who went to Vietnam.  The ones who aren't lucky enough to be veterans today are memorialized in several places around the USA.  One such place is the Vietnam War Memorial at Fruita, Colorado.  I didn't expect to be moved by it - after all, it's not like it's the big memorial in Washington D.C.  But, in Fruita they play 1960's era rock and roll, and they have a way-too-long list of the Colorado casualties in Vietnam.  It was hard to stay composed.

20080910 Vietnam Memorial StatuesTo all the veterans, from whatever war, hospital, or guard post, I wish you a future of peace and love.

To my uncle Danny and my Father, who were in the military in WWII... thanks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Type

The Typealizer web site tells me I'm practical. I call it plodder.

Yes, I have been knitting.  I think I have made about a million mice for felting.  Three skeins worth of mice.  I'm tired of mice!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bidwell Nature Trail

We found a part of lower Bidwell Park we've never been to. I didn't think that was possible after 7 (8?) years of living in Chico. There's a nature trail on the east side of Hwy 99 near the Nature Center. Who knew?

We've had a couple of days of rain, and we forgot to close the top to the garden waste bin. J took it upon herself to dump the heavy thing this morning and strained her back. Hence the short 1/2 mile walk on the nature trail instead of our usual longer walk on Sunday morning in the park.

It's a historic (1888) tree farm.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peek of Castle Crags

In Northern California, there is a place just before Dunsmuir called Castle Crags, and there is a California State Park there. These are some beautiful mountains sticking up all of a sudden.

We took a walk, had a picnic, enjoyed being in a forest.

The weather is still beautiful, but the weatherman says maybe rain by the end of the week. We could use two or three months of rain. The big reservoirs are almost empty.

Tree Farm Color

Down here in the valley, the Fall color isn't spectacular this year, but it's there.

We went for a walk in the Tree Farm last Sunday... another beautiful day in Chico.

1st Bumper Sticker

This is the 1st bumper sticker I have ever put on my car, and I've been driving for 46 years.

Mixing natural peanut butter

Milky Waypeanut butter labelKnow what happens when you put an electric mixer into your jar of natural peanut butter and turn it on? 

You get a beautiful pattern of oily, gooey peanut butter ALL OVER your kitchen.

If you decide to try this in your kitchen, be sure to hold tightly onto the p'butter jar before you turn on the mixer.  And do it in the sink, not on the counter.  Or better yet, mix it the old fashioned way instead of using the mixer :=(

Saturday, October 18, 2008

JLG Christmas Stocking

Progression on the Christmas Stocking.

I'm happy with the initials, which I charted while looking at a font I liked in MS Excel. I'm not so happy with the diamonds between the initials.

Knitters' Logic (the ability to continue on assuming that it will all be okay in the end) says blocking will fix the diamonds and all other wonky places in the stocking. We'll see.

I love knitters' logic!

Felted Mice Cat Toys

These felted cuties are full of cat nip-laced fiber fill. I tested one of them on the murderous little Persimmon. She though they smelled good and were worth rubbing; however, she'd still rather kill the toys that are covered in real rabbit fur.

So far, nine are knitted for the Friends of the Library Craft Fair, and I want to make enough of them to fill a little basket.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some knitting virtually finished

This is the Ridged Beret (Pages 110 and 148) from this Fall's Vogue Knitting magazine.  The scanned picture from the magazine on the left, and my unblocked, very unblocked, FO on the right.

I'm hoping it looks better after blocking.  It does look pretty good on a person's head.  If I were going to do it again, and I might, I would choose colors like the magazine - dark with a lighter tweedy purl ridge.  It's really easy to knit.  I hope somebody will like it and buy it from the Craft Fair in November.


This is a Seaman's Scarf, from Stahman's Shawls & Scarves.  I love this scarf, and Myrna Stahman is one of my heroes.  Once again, the photo is not good, but you get the idea.  It has been blocked, but the ends are not tucked in.

Both the Seaman's Scarf and the Ridged Beret above were made out of Crystal Palace Yarns Creme, 60% wool / 40% silk.  It stretches a great deal in length after washing, so I think I'll skip the wet wash of the beret and just steam it :-)


And this picture shows a couple of things that Karen knit for the Craft Fair - fingerless mittens and a baby hat.  Very nice!  Back there in the shadows are a couple of neck warmers I made from a pattern by Faina.  I have some buttons for the neck warmers, but I put them in a "safe place" and now I can't find them.  I hope they show up when I clean off the various surfaces in my loft.

Speaking of the Craft Fair, it's November 22nd and I'm feeling the stress of having to knit lots of little things by then.  I don't think I'll do this again!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The big picture

I am not an economist, and I don't understand what's going on right now.  I know that "they" are telling me that there is a credit crisis which causes businesses not to be able to float loans to keep their businesses running.  And somehow it was caused by subprime lending and financial slight of hand.  Stupid business practices and ignorant people taking out mortgages they cannot afford.

What I do know is that groceries and gasoline are costing a lot more than they used to, and, as a retired person, my income isn't more than it used to be.  That's my own personal little crisis.  I just buy fewer things.  Well, actually I did just buy a new and expensive replacement vacuum cleaner and I did just buy new and cheaper a replacement phone, but I call those things "maintenance".  I canceled one of my morning papers, and I no longer buy several Starbucks coffees each week.  It's all tradeoffs.  So far, I'm not spending more than I take in.

Why can't the state and the country legislators spend less than they take in?   We should fire them all and vote in legislators who can balance a budget, stay out of wars we can't afford, etc.!

For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the Dow Jones Industrial Average starting in 1932 and ending in 2008.  You can click on the picture to see a bigger image.  If only we had invested in the market early and left it in the market, then the current "crisis" wouldn't be so scary.  I'm going to ride it out, not sell and put it all under my mattress.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Knitting in the Red

This is just too good not to show here.  Go ahead.  Laugh.

My DJ is a computer

Hadley Rouse Pandora PosterI am probably the last person to hear about this.  Pandora is web radio for the Music Genome Project.  Songs are given attributes, and you select music based on the attributes and artists you like.  The music, from the Internet, plays on computers and I think it will also play on a mobile phone.

As I write this I'm listening to Billie Holiday sing Ain't Misbehavin'.  I'm just as likely to hear Pink Martini or Diana Krall on this "station."  I also have stations set up for classical pianos and big band jazz.  Oh, this is good.  Has iTunes music selection beat all to hell.  Sure makes waiting for my government to bail out Wall Street more pleasant!

A co-worker at the library told me about Pandora and I promptly forgot until I saw a news article about a webcasting bill that passed.  New law will allow Pandora to stay in business because they will be able to negotiate lower royalty payments.

Now playing: Jane Monheit, new to me, singing Hit the Road to Dreamland.  Pandora picked it out based on other things I liked and it chose well.  I like it.

And there's more.  I haven't even started listening to the classical piano stuff yet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

North State Symphony Season Begins

Rachmaninov cd cover What a perfect day this has been!  It started with a walk in the park (note: Fall is approaching - go to the mountains soon), and a lovely breakfast with Sunday paper after the park.

In the early afternoon we went to hear the Symphony's Music Director and Conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett give his pre-concert chat about today's season opener of the North State Symphony.  Today's program:

Glazunov - Bacchanale from Autumn (The Seasons)
Brahms - Symphony No. 3, op. 90, F major
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 3, op. 30, D minor
Jon Nakamatsu, Piano

Wiley Pickett gives an informative and entertaining talk before each concert.  I recommend going.  This is the first time I took advantage of this free lecture, and I think I'll do it again.  (Quality knitting time with lots of elbow room.)

The first two items on today's program were fine, and I think the orchestra is once again improved, even in that black hole of sound, Laxson Auditorium at CSU Chico.  The orchestra is so good now that they can play with a world class performer like Jon Nakamatsu, today's pianist on the Rachmaninoff piece.

I've never heard a classical pianist, live, who is as good as Jon Kakamatsu.  We were lucky to have seen and heard him.  It was an indescribable experience.  I was there.  I watched and heard, and still I can't connect Mr. K's hand movements with the music I was hearing.  Mr. K is really, really fast, and really, really good.  Just amazing!

Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 is the music at the center of the movie "Shine", starring Geoffrey Rush.

Have a good afterlife, Paul

Paul Newman in hat My fellow Aquarian, Paul Newman, has moved on to the next stage.  I wish him well.

What a shock to hear that he was dead.  83 is a good long time to live, but... I thought he'd be in movies until I died.  He's been there all my movie-going life.

I will surely miss him.



Paul Newman and cig

Paul Newman and Joanne

 Paul Newman and barn

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Christmas Stocking Progress

I don't know when I reported last on J's Christmas stocking, but here's the progress so far. When I gave this as a gift (unfinished with a promise) I thought November was ages away. Well... I'm going to have to do some serious knitting to finish this stocking as well as all the things I have going for the Friends of the Library Craft Fair the same month.

I wish I were a faster knitter!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Southwest Colorado

The next vacation will be to Southwest Colorado, around Durango.

We'll ride a train, visit ruins, mountains, Telluride, and generally have some fun.

The last rental car was a Chevy Malibu - worst car I ever drove.  I'm voting for an all-wheel SUV next :-)

Boho Beret is done

It was incredibly easy to knit, after I got past the bad day that caused me to make 5 attempts at the cast on.

It's very slouchy, which is what I wanted.  I made the smaller version and it still is big enough for my medium head.  Next up is a cowl made of matching yarn.  Will it ever get cold enough to wear this in Chico?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tubular Cast On

I was having a particularly brain-dead day the other day, and that was the day I chose to do a tubular cast on for a slouchy tam (in Ravelry) I'm making.  First I tried the way I know and love:

Knitted Tams, by Mary Rowe

This book has a really easy tubular cast on.  The brim of the tam looks professional and has good stretch.  It started out with waste yarn.

So, I cast on, worked some rows of the brim, took out the waste yarn, all while watching mediocre television.  It was then I noticed that I had dropped a stitch, dropped a stitch all the way down to the cast on.  I was faced with several long floats and no idea how to reconstruct the cast on.  So I frogged it.  I decided (why?) to try a different tubular cast on which might be easier and not involve starting out with waste yarn:

Knitter's Handbook, by Monste Stanley

This book is my favorite reference.  (I used to have Principles of Knitting, but sold it for big bucks and don't miss it.)  It has a tubular cast on which produces the same results as Mary Rowe's version, but requires no waste yarn.  The cast on is easy ... but(!) when I tried to join in a circle for the tam brim without twisting, well I just couldn't do it.  This would be my tubular cast on of choice if I was going to knit flat and not have to worry about twisting cast ons.

Once again, I cast on, worked some rows of the brim, took out the waste yarn - only this time I was in a quiet room in full sunlight with some jazz music in the background instead of bad tv.  This [dark] picture is before removing the waste yarn.  When working circularly,  this tubular cast on cannot be beat.

I've only told you about two of the cast on attempts.  Actually there were about 5, if you count the ones that had the wrong number of stitches.  I could not even count to ten this day.  Thank God that day is gone!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weak Kidney Cat Food

Update 9/3/08:  Ruso has stopped eating this food.  He loved it for about two months and then... not having it any more.  He sniffs it and then backs away - would rather starve, thank you very much.  Also, he's losing hair, which may or may not be associated with eating this diet.  Now I have a bunch of trout in the freezer!  ... off to look up human recipes for trout.  The bottom line is Ruso no longer recommends this recipe.

Originally posted July 3, 2008:

When Ruso went to the vet for a cyst removal, the vet told me he had a mild gum disease and I should have his teeth cleaned.  Well, actually I didn't go to the vet for a cyst removal.  I went for regular shots, checkup and maybe drain the cyst.  It's like going shopping for one or two things in the grocery story and coming home with two bags full.  Anyway, a blood test is required for older cats.  (Ruso is 10+ years old.)

Since Ruso is terrified of the cat carrier, I left him over night and picked him up the next day.  When I was waiting to pay the bill (more than $500, less than $1000, should I feel lucky?), the vet told me that Ruso's blood count showed a higher than normal count of something, indicating he has weak kidneys.  They suggested some special cat food that I know Ruso won't eat because he's way, way too fussy.

The Ultimate Pet Food Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Feeding Your Dog or Cat
by Liz Palika  (copyright 2008)

Read more about this title...  (link to

I checked this book out of the library.  Apparently there is some controversy about whether a cat with kidney problems should get more, or less, protein in his diet.  This book recommends more.   The vet recommended less.  Who knows?  Since the copyright in the book is 2008, I decided that the book's information was current.  Who knows?

A recipe for Ruso's old kidneys:  Chicken and Trout, page 228.  This recipe makes one day's worth of food for a 10 pound cat.  I'm not cooking chicken and trout every day for my spoiled boy, so here is my recipe for a week's worth. 

I give Ruso 2 tablespoons of IAM's multi-cat dry food and three-four tablespoons of Chicken and Trout at breakfast and dinner.  He did have diarrhea for a few days at first, but he's fine now.  You should probably introduce the food into his diet gradually, not all at once like I did.

Chicken and Trout cat food for a week

  • 3 hard boiled, peeled whole eggs

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts *

  • 1 cleaned, whole trout *

  • wheat grass (cut about 1 inch off the top of a 4" square pot) **

  1. Get out everything you need:
    - food processor (optional)
    - paper towel
    - rubber gloves (optional) ***
    - big bowl for mixing
    - tablespoon measure
    - cutting board and sharp knife
    - about 7-8 sandwich bags unzipped
    - a gallon-sized freezer bag unzipped
    - permanent marker for freezer bag
    - microwave cooking dish with cover
    - disinfecting wipes

  2. Boil the eggs and set aside to cool.  Peel.  About those rubber gloves - wear 'em if you've got 'em.

  3. Rinse and cook the trout.  I put the entire trout in a casserole dish  with a sprinkle of water and cook on 60% power for three minutes.  Set aside to cool, then take the head, skin, and fins off.  Remove all the bones.

  4. Rinse the chicken and cut it into about 3/4" square pieces.   Cook.  I cook in the microwave on 60% for about 7 minutes, stirring once mid-way through the cooking cycle.  Set aside to cool.

  5. Wrap the wheat grass in a paper towel and dampen it.  Cook the wheat grass in the microwave for about 20 seconds at 100%.  Set aside to cool.  Chop into smaller pieces.

  6. Chop everything in the food processor, or you can dice by hand.  I put about a third of ea. ingredient in the f.p. and chop in three batches.

  7. Mix ingredients together in a big bowl.  Put about 8 tablespoons in a sandwich bag.  This is about a day's worth of food for my Ruso.  This recipe should yield 7-8 bags.  Put those bags in a gallon-sized freezer bag and write "cat food" on the gallon-sized bag with a permanent marker.  I reuse the gallon-sized bags.

    Freeze food you aren't going to use in the next day or so.  (Take a day's worth out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge a day before you need it.)

  8. Wash all those tools in hot, soapy water.  Use a disinfectant cloth on the counter and all the surfaces you touched with gooey hands because you forgot to get something out in step 1.  I'm probably a little OCD about handling raw meat, but I guess it doesn't hurt to be safe.

*  I shop at Costco and buy whole trout and boneless/skinless checken breasts.  I freeze the trout individually wrapped in aluminum foil.  I defrost trout and chicken in the fridge about a day or two ahead of time.

** I buy human wheat grass at the grocery store, but I plan to start growing my own as soon as I figure out how.

*** I like to work with raw meat using "examination gloves" I buy at Costco.  I get the latex-free ones.  You get a million of them.  They are good for weeding and gardening too.

20080702 Ruso




Ruso loves this food!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scary Politics

This came in an email from a friend today and is from the web site.   It's worth a read:

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected,
he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated.  And after months of
slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has
chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing
religious conservative with no foreign
policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic

  * She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago.
    Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside  Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
  * Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of  rape or incest.2
  * She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.     3
  * Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
  * She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
  * She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy
policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables
won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for
listing polar bears as an endangered species--she was worried it would
interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
  * How closely did
John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They
spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being
vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about
their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been
a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international
experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that
3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially
be charged with leading the US in the volatile international
scene that exists today. --Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and
fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran
on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several
charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO
experience beyond Alaska. --Christine B., Denali Park, AK

an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement.
Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be.
--Karen L., Anchorage, AK

collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is
doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the
national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came
to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been
communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems,
republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.--Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has
worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. --Marina L., Juneau,

think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a
woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to
deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up
and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This
is a
patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to
females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting
"A Woman" in that position.--Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a
global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil.
And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin,
John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a
very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans
will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

--Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team


1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL
Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage
Daily News, October 27,

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin--ignores science," Huffington Post,
August 29, 2008

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club,
August 29, 2008

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of
Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor,"
The Times of London, May 23, 2008

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 3.2 million
members--no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny
staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Knitting? More like Frogging

For those without a knitting vocabulary... frogging is the act of ripping out one's knitting.  The term comes from the sound made by frogs - "rip it, rip it."  The first time I heard it was some time in the 1990s on the original KnitList.

I was going to make a hooded scarf, but I cast on more stitches than the pattern suggested because I was afraid it wouldn't be wide enough.  After using up most of the skein, I decided it would be too dense and too short and too wide.  So, I frogged it and rewound the skein, without breaking the yarn which I am very pleased about.

What is it with this "afraid it wouldn't be ... enough" syndrome?  All I can figure was I didn't get enough of whatever during my childhood, because it's a constant fear of mine and it causes all kinds of problems.  Like extra pounds, failed knitting projects, a bloated yarn stash, a fat knitting book and magazine library, etc.

The next project for this yarn is going to be a slouchy kind of tam.  It should look good.

But not everything has been a failure.  I did crochet eleven bookmarks.  They just about killed my shoulder, so I'm off the crochet for a while.  The next step is to spray them with starch and iron them into stiffness.

These are for a Chico Friends of the Library Fundraiser.  I plan to mount each one on a piece of paper and wrap them in clear cellophane-like wrapping.

That's about all I've been doing in the world of fiber.  Most of my time lately has been involved in helping to create a cookbook as a fundraiser for the CFOL.  I said, "Of course, putting the cookbook in PDF format is no problem."  I didn't know what I was getting into, and now I have spent two weeks creating the book in MS Word (not the best publishing tool, but it's what I have).

Now, back to my knitting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer 2008

Spitz and Phelps

I stole this picture off the internet.  Pretty cool, eh?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm home

It was a great trip to Washington.  Click on the thumbnail to see where we were in Birch Bay very near the Canadian Border (I hope that works).

Birch Bay 200808 Birch Bay Low Tide 200808 Birch Bay walk

We went to the North Cascades National Park (Nooksack Falls, Mt. Baker, many high-elevation flowers).

200808 Nooksack Falls 200808 Mt Baker 200808 Mt Baker Goats Beard

We visited Bellingham a couple of times.  It's a charming little town with a good yarn store, a good book store, and wonderful old buildings.  The cost of living is a little high, compared to Chico.  They have Western Washington University, a beautiful campus.

200808 Bellingham Phone Booth 200808 Skylark Lunch in Bellingham

We walked on the Interuban Trail near Bellingham.  It was just beautiful, and easy.  Chuckanut Drive (don't you love that name?) was scenic.  There's nothing like the Pacific Coast!  The smell, the feel of the cool, moist air.  My skin and hair thrive in that environment.

200808 Chuckanut Drive View 200808 Interuban Trail near Bellingham Wa 200808 Interurban Trail

And then it was time to stuff ourselves into a plain and fly home.  Speaking of stuffing myself into an airline seat, it's time for a diet.  Otherwise I won't make it into the airplane seat for the next trip, to Colorado.