Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
But Dahlia Lithwick at Salon wrote an important one.
"I humbly offer this new year's roundup: The Bush Administration's Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007.
10. The NSA's eavesdropping was limited in scope.
Not at all. Recent revelations suggest the program was launched earlier than we'd been led to believe, scooped up more information than we were led to believe, and was not at all narrowly tailored, as we'd been led to believe. Surprised? Me neither."
You should click through to read the rest. Ladies and gentlemen, your government at work. Be afraid. I am not a paranoid person, but this is just sickening, in addition to being frightening.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Fit the toy bar ends into the sockets in the footrest."
Can't get any simpler than that, right? BUT. The there was a "hint" under the instructions:
"Hint: The square end of the toy bar fits into the square socket and the circular end of the toy bar fits into the circular socket."
I feel like if you need this hint you a) probably can't use a screwdriver, so you probably haven't gotten this far in the instructions, and b) probably shouldn't be in charge of an infant. Square fits square and round fits round? REALLY?! I had no idea.
I may also be slightly cranky.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
He wants to know if they can keep the goat for just a little bit first, since he has "always wanted a goat." (Ha. I wonder how long that would last once the goat started eating all of his stuff. Unlike sheep, goats are pretty smart and therefore hard to contain.) And then, he generously (seriously--he's only 7) points out, they can give the goat to the people who need it.
Methinks my sister is headed for a petting zoo as part of this plan for next year.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The kicking paused for a few minutes.
I had gas. So I passed the gas.
I got kicked, pretty distinctly.
I passed gas again.
I got kicked again.
This happened twice more. Each time I got kicked once, kind of hard, right after farting.
Matter-Eater Lad though this was HILARIOUS. Because he is actually 10.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Maternity Cable-Knit Kimono Sweaters
Cropped, cable-knit kimono sleeves drape beautifully, while a rib-knit panel swathes your belly in warmth. Best of all, a surplice neckline shows off the sexiest part of every woman's body - her clavicle."
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I must remember to wear a hat when I leave the house tomorrow morning.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Things that will make your refrigerator, freezer and kitchen smell like nail polish remover. And you won't be able to find the source of the smell.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Matter-Eater Lad and I took a parenting prep class on Saturday. It seemed like not a bad idea. The class overall was fine--not overly serious, and the content was good for MEL in particular, who has never really encountered an infant before (although? Diapering a doll is really NOT AT ALL like diapering a live baby. Also, when MEL was trying to swaddle the doll, he banged the doll's head into the wall about four times. Not a good sign.). About 2/3 of the way through the 4-hour class, the instructor showed a video about how to deal with a crying baby that was really all about not shaking your baby and preventing shaken-baby syndrome. Fine so far--this is completely reasonable. I was amused that the video appeared to have been filmed in 1992, but again, no problem--I was quietly amused. The problem came when, about ten minutes into the video, the narrator mentioned that sometimes a breastfed baby cries because of what you are eating while the camera ominously zoomed in to Coke, onions and cans of beans piled on a counter. This was VERY FUNNY for some reason. In fact, most of the class laughed at it. But then I seriously *could not stop laughing*. The video had moved on to talking about the horrible things that can happen if you shake your baby. I *could not stop laughing*. It took me about ten minutes to get myself under control. If you say "never shake your baby" to me, I START LAUGHING. It's just not right. MEL and I are totally going to get ourselves kicked out of the childbirth class.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I may, in fact, be 27 weeks pregnant.
Either that or I have been eating way too much fudge and kielbasa.
Also, over the past three months, my friend P. has been giving me booties every time knitting group meets:
And my friend KK got in on the action last night, too:
(the purple is tissue paper)
Friday, October 19, 2007
We are upset about this sort of thing:
"Tim Starks of Congressional Quarterly reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bring the Senate's surveillance bill up for floor debate in mid-November. That's despite the hold that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) plans to place on the measure -- something first reported by Election Central's Greg Sargent."
(Here's the lowdown on a hold)
It is important to note that historically the Senate is *very* protective of its procedures and traditions--to the point where Reid has honored holds placed by far-right Senators in the past.
It is important to note exactly how frightening the FISA legislation is:
"Telecom amnesty isn’t the only problem. For example, the Senate bill empowers the Attorney General, not the FISA Court, to determine who complied with the warrantless surveillance program.
The Senate bill would direct civil courts to dismiss lawsuits against telecommunications companies if the attorney general certifies that the company rendered assistance between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2007, in response to a written request authorized by the president, to help detect or prevent an attack on the United States.
Suits also would be dismissed if the attorney general certifies that a company named in the case provided no assistance to the government. The public record would not reflect which certification was given to the court.
As Spencer Ackerman noted, “So you’ll you’ll never know, if the Senate bill becomes law, if your phone company gave any communications material when the National Security Agency came calling without a warrant.' ”
How un-American can it get?
Dodd has responded:
"Just last night, we heard there are plans to disregard Senator Dodd's intention to place a hold on a FISA bill that includes amnesty for telecommunications companies.
That would be a pretty extraordinary move, but Chris Dodd has pledged to stop this horrible bill any way he can.
So if the hold is not honored, he is prepared to go to the Senate floor and filibuster."
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless wiretapping. Shredding of Habeas Corpus. Torture. Extraordinary Rendition. Secret Prisons.
I have decided to place a "hold" on the latest FISA bill that would have included amnesty for telecommunications companies that enabled the President's assault on the Constitution by illegaly providing personal information on their customers without judicial authorization.
I said that I would do everything I could to stop this bill from passing, and I have.
It's about delivering results -- and as I've said before, the FIRST thing I will do after being sworn into office is restore the Constitution. But we shouldn't have to wait until then to prevent the further erosion of our country's most treasured document. That's why I am stopping this bill today."
It has been the lack of action like this that has caused Democrats to loss faith in Congress. Too often there has been only capitulation to the White House with lip service to the reasons this Congress was elected. It is true that Republicans have been blocked every legislative action that they are able to block; however, that doesn't excuse cowardice when it comes to doing what can be done.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What is the primary language spoken at home? Choose one.
This is middle America, people. And I think it is awesome. Also awesome? The library has Hmong- and Somali-speaking librarians in addition to ones that speak English and Spanish.
*****I do realize that only people who read English will be able to complete the survey. That's not the point--and note the phrasing of the question.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
How would one make a completely visual medium accessible to blind people? I am sure there is a way (see also: books), and I certainly think it could be done (and should be done, assuming it is reasonably possible), but I would have liked the article to explain exactly *what* the class is trying to accomplish, using specifics. You know, like the blind people who want to have some way to know a hybrid car is coming. That article mentions possible *solutions*, which seems like a reasonable thing for which to ask.
This article *does* explain a little bit about what the class is looking for as a remedy:
"The ruling allows blind individuals, who say that many other retailers have designed their Web sites to be accessible through special software that vocalizes online content, to join collectively in the lawsuit."
See? That's all it took to make it clear. There are other articles with more technical explanations, but that one sentence was enough.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
When I said hello, did you recognize my (fairly distinctive) voice? If no, your response to my greeting *should not have been* "Hi, honey. Did you get my message?" I'll cut you some slack on that one, though, since sometimes people take a few seconds to process unexpected things in a familiar setting.
However, when I very politely mentioned that I believed that you had a wrong number, arguing was really not the way to go. Given the implied intimacy (or at least personal acquaintance) implied by the first words out of your mouth, how did you not recognize that you were speaking with the wrong person? I feel that I have had a fascinating glimpse into what your life must be like. Also, you sounded as if you might be drunk.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I don't care whether or not all of you out there have ever watched or liked Doctor Who. You need to go, now, and watch "Blink", the Steven Moffat episode from the third season of the new series. I had heard from the Fanboys that it was amazing, which meant that I was, frankly, not expecting very much even though I love Moffat--the Popular Wisdom on these things tends to be set in stone after just a few very odd people weight in. It is creepy, and interesting, and emotional (although not as emotional as the Paul Cornell stuff), and it plays with the time issues in new ways--sort of like Moffat's "The Girl in the Fireplace" from season 2 (which just won a Hugo). There are holes the way there would be for any time travel story, but it is really just amazing. I cannot recommend it enough. However, don't watch it alone--it is also really, really creepy.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Guys? If you live in a suburb where sidewalks are even a possibility, you already don't live in a pastoral setting. Deal with it. I also understand that some neighborhoods have so little traffic that sidewalks really aren't an issue; that's a different situation.
I hear all of the arguments against sidewalks in this article--I am just kind of appalled by them. For instance, go ahead a bring up how senior citizens will shovel the sidewalks. All of the places listed here are places with huge lawns and large driveways. How are those same seniors coping now? Those driveways aren't shoveling themselves, you know. And that picture? Are we supposed to feel bad for this woman? (That said--eight feet is too wide for a sidewalk.)
I am also appalled by the city residents around here who don't want to have to maintain the bike trails and parks, just to be even-handed. What the hell is wrong with you people?
I should also mention that should Matter-Eater-Lad and I ever move to a city in which we need to live in the suburbs, sidewalks will be a minimum requirement for us.
I have more projects set aside in my stash than I would come across in a visit to my LYS.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Follow the directions in the listing. Believe me when I say that if you don't *you are not going to get an interview.* Calling and asking what to do when the ad requests an emailed resume is not helping you.
If there is a name on the ad, DO NOT send your cover letter "To Whom It May Concern."
Also, turn off the change tracking on your document *before* you send it to me.
I'm surprised I have to explain these things to you.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
5 kg of Nutella. Just for the record, that container of Nutella costs almost $80.00.
Now, I really, really like Nutella, to the point where I can't keep it in the house. But the bottles I buy are generally *13 oz*. Which equals 0.368543801 kilograms.
I had some thoughts about who might need that much Nutella. I think maybe these guys:
Monday, August 13, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I am all for not surrendering patriotic symbols to insane conservative people (please note that I consider this a subset of conservatives as a whole--I may not agree with them on most issues, but that doesn't make them evil or crazy across the board). This license plate is kind of sickening. I think it is the desert camo background that sends it over the edge. How many people who get this plate will have ever worn camo to anything more dangerous than a backyard cookout?
I should perhaps note here that *I* have never worn camo, much less in a defending-my-country sort of situation, except my pink camo neoprene shoes, which really, really don't count.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"Where are the thousands of alliances and two million people to shake the irrevocably corrupt Democratic and Republican parties?".
You know what?
There is a difference.
I am not saying that the Democrats are some sort of paragon of virtue, but there is a difference.
Go to hell, you self-important windbag.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
"If Cheney's a member of the legislative branch, the Democratic Caucus chair suggests, the vice president won't need all the money that currently goes to pay for his executive office, extensive staff and that secure undisclosed location that is so often his haunt. So Emanuel plans this week to offer an amendment to a spending bill that would defund the Office of the Vice President.
Of course, there would still be funding for the Office of the Senate President. But, let's be frank, the rare tie-breaking duties and ceremonial administrative functions associated with that position won't require more than a smidgen of the money that now goes to the vice president's epic executive-branch operations.
"This amendment will ensure that the vice president's funding is consistent with his legal arguments," say Emanuel, a former aide to President Clinton who, like Cheney, has served in both the legislative and executive branches."
Friday, June 22, 2007
(Please note that this is the original text of the Constitution--bits that look like they should be hyperlinked have since been amended.)
Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.
The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
The VP *is* mentioned in Article I, but only in a very limited manner:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
Jackass. You know a great way to not have people constantly making you produce your files for discovery? STOP INVOLVING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, AND SPECIFICALLY THE OFFICES OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT, IN CRIMINAL ENTERPRISES. I know you are not the only ones to have ever done it, but sometimes one wonders if ANYTHING LEGAL IS HAPPENING IN THERE.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
You *can* check a stand mixer if you are flying (Don't look at me like that--*of course* I didn't pay full price for it. Why do you think I was trying to get the damn thing from Philly to Minneapolis on a plane?). Just expect the TSA to thoroughly inspect it. (I think they were jealous.)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I learned how to knit toe-up socks! The pattern is Oktoberfest, knit on US1 DPNs. I did fewer leg repeats than the pattern calls for because I was running out of yarn. Next time I might go up a needle size for the ribbing--it is a little bit inflexible. It is fine once the sock is on, but it is hard to get the sock on.
I like this pattern because it is a visual joke, but not so novelty that they are not practical to wear.
Happy Brithday, M.!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
We saw the lift bridge:
Lake Superior, which was still frozen for quite a distance out from shore:
Elmo joined us.
He pensively regarded the surf:
Mugged for the camera:
And tried to eat the lighthouse:
(Shut up. *We* were *very* amused.)
Matter-Eater Lad also got me this for my birthday. It is absolutely *beautiful*. The artwork alone makes this edition worth it.
My family got together and sent me the money to pick out my very own kayak. I finally chose it and bought it last night (I'll tell y'all about the fun of trying to find a place to put the front strap hooks of a kayak car carrier on a Mazda 3 for a trip that *must* include a high-speed highway another time):
Please note that Elmo helped test out the kayak:
(And let us pause to note how great the grass looks. That part of the lawn was a sand pit and landscaping rocks when we bought the house 3 1/2 years ago--the previous owners had an above-ground pool. Getting rid of the rocks and getting topsoil and seeding the grass was just *so much* work.)
It was a good birthday. And being 30 is really exactly like being 29 so far.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Socks in progress:
At this point in the construction, Matter-Eater Lad decided that these socks look very much like something Aquaman would wear. I was amused, but not as much as he was. He proceeded to ask for an orange sweater in this stitch pattern so that he could look like Aquaman. I said no, because I am not doing that much work for something I know he would never wear.
I very much like how they came out. I will have to knit some for myself once I finish my sister's wedding veil. Which will go faster once I have started knitting my sister's wedding veil. I may have started a simple pair of stockinette socks while I am waiting . . . .
Monday, May 07, 2007
My reaction? I have lived in Minneapolis for five years, and I have never paid for home delivery. I get most of my news online. I picked up the phone and ordered home delivery.
I told everyone that I spoke to that it was because they cancelled Lileks' column.
The column itself was a waste of space, but more than that, the ten seconds a day it took him to write the column and get paid for it allowed him the leisure to write here (look to past posts for political stuff). And that is what the right-wing blogosphere is upset about; the Strib is not going to be subsidizing Lileks' political commentary any more. If he were a political columnist, I might understand the uproar. Lileks is free to write anything he wants on his website if he has the free time once he has a real job, just like anyone else in America.
I also sent this email to the Reader's Rep:
I want to congratulate the Star Tribune for getting rid of some dead weight. James Lileks' column should have been cancelled years ago.
Upon hearing the news, I subscribed to home delivery.
************Edited to add************
Please note that I don't think this is some sort of wonderful journalistic advance on the part of the Strib. Getting rid of all of the columnists isn't good journalism, it's just cheaper for them. Lileks is far from the only one that this is happening to--and that is part of my point. That, and the right-wing gnashing of teeth, along with Lileks' asking people to contact the reader's rep on his part just annoyed me enough that it was worth less than $20 of my money to make a point of doing exactly the opposite thing.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The pattern is, I believe, the beaded rib from Knit Sensational Socks (no time to get all linky today).
I also picked up some Fleece Artist that The Yarnery brought by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's talk. One skein was the moss or fern colorway (too busy to look it up), very pretty, kind of what I think of as dragon green. Then my friend, who has a dragon thing, got sick, and I discovered that Child's First Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks looks very much like scales. I therefore made my friend dragon socks. For various reasons I had to frog the first sock twice before I liked how it turned out:
I haven't uploaded the finished pix yet, but you get the idea.
You know how I was bemoaning the lack of cherry blossoms in my vicinity? Sundara (search for Sundara yarns, she comes up) dyed this as a limited edition in April:
Cherry Blossom yarn!
It made me very happy.
Friday, April 27, 2007
(bagel-shop employee spends a few minutes making *sure* that is what he really wants, very nicely, until the boy's mother mentions that this is what he always orders)
Then the mother orders: "An everything bagel with plain cream cheese, please."
10 to 12-year-old boy: "You like *everything bagels*? Eeeeeew."
Thursday, April 26, 2007
*****Edited to add*****
What I find the most interesting is the stark illustration of the same information garnering completely opposite reactions. From the WaPo article:
"Nevertheless, opponents of same-sex marriage look at what is going on in New England and express growing concern. 'The more states that do this, the less radical and more plausible the idea may appear in others,' said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council."
My reaction? EXACTLY.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The New York Times has started a list of profiles of the victims.
Read it. Remember how they lived.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The solution? I ordered some sock yarn.
Friday, April 13, 2007
The image quality is iffy, but you can see that it is quite scenic. That's all I have for today.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I knit her those socks less than a year ago--they were the second pair on socks I ever knitted (Crusoe from Knitty in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Tropical Storm-- the same yarn that Elmo models here). What a complement it is that she wore them so much that they are wearing through. I am always afraid that when I knit for someone they will save what I give them for a special occasion (I am not speaking of delicate lace shawls here, which of course are treated slightly differently) rather than enjoying what I made for them and realizing that I can always make more. I guess my sister, at least got the message.
Of course, she is going to have to wait for more socks. I have to finish my MIL's birthday socks, knit the socks for my pregnant friend, knit a wedding veil, and about eight billion other projects between now and July. There may be some mixed messages going out around here.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Then he said, "That makes sense. You can have too many socks, so after a while you would want to give them away."
TOO MANY SOCKS? I think he missed my point.
(I know I am normally quite informal in tone and with grammar on this blog, but do the above couple of sentences sort of read as if they were written by an eight-year-old? I thought so.)
In the past few weeks, I have finished a couple of these:
and spent far too long on the Most Boring Socks Ever. I did learn something from those socks, though--I can deal with a boring sock pattern, but I really need to like the yarn. This usually means that I like both the colorway and the hand of the yarn itself, but it can just be the hand of the yarn if I am knitting for someone who likes boring socks (a/k/a Matter-Eater Lad). I was so bored with those socks that it took me *two weeks* to finish them.
Now I am using the Summer Skin Sweet Georgia yarn to make socks for my MIL for her birthday (which is next Friday). Plus, my friend L is pregnant and in the hospital with breathing problems, so I may cast on some socks for her this weekend. She's in Florida, so what else can I really do? These will be sort of prayer-socks (like prayer shawls), except, you know, L is an atheist. Which means that I will be knitting them to make myself feel as if I am doing something to help, and there is something to be said for that. Plus, then L will have socks!
My friends and I went to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's talk at William-Mitchell Law School Wednesday (she's the Yarn Harlot--see the link on the right? She is very funny.), and I will post about that once I upload the (not very good) pictures and finish thinking through what I want to write about feminism and knitting.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
to the point that two Mondays ago there was very little ice left on the lake, and it was 80 degrees F out, so I could sit on a bench by the lake and knit and watch the sun set:
Lovely! This is too warm for so early, but at least it is a step in the right direction. It is spring! There should be cherry blossoms! Ok, maybe not in Minnesota, but you know what? I used to live in DC, and this time of year there should be cherry blossoms.
Why do I bring this up? BECAUSE IT WAS 15 DEGREES F WHEN I LEFT THE HOUSE YESTERDAY MORNING, and 19 TODAY. IT IS GOING TO BE IN THE THIRTIES DURING THE DAY ALL WEEK AND IT SNOWED SQUEAKY WINTER SNOW ON TUESDAY. THIS IS NOT RIGHT.
It is time for it to be spring, so I would appreciate some spring weather around here.