Ha. Today's post is brought to you by leafleting and door knocking, which is what I am doing.
No, that's a lie. I will be sitting in the mobile office with my knitting and perhaps a hot beverage as others do the leafleting and door knocking using the maps and voter lists that I created, printed, and organized.
We do what we can. I can't walk more than a block, but I can organize and download and print and cheer from the sidelines. And tweet. And blog.
I decided to do my own Ten on Tuesday list this week.
Ten Reasons to Vote Today.
Nifty sticker to wear on your lapel. "I voted!"
Cute election judges... if you are a 70+ year old male.
Free coffee and cookies.
Opportunity to see your local community center / fire hall / village hall / elementary school full of people with good intentions.
A chance to knit (while standing in line).
The only time you will see some of these names in print. County coroner? County assessor? Who are these people?
Polling place just might be near your LYS. Everyone who votes deserves a yarn treat.
Easiest way in the world to be a patriot.
Chance to do something that millions would [and have] die[d] for the right to do.
And finally, the very best reason of all...
If you don't vote you lose the right to complain about your government.
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I'm sick of campaign ads, junk mail, the media buzz, and especially the recorded phone calls. Campaign signs, though, are kinda fun. I first noticed them when we were in Wyoming in June. There were campaign signs everywhere. Didn't notice [m]any in Montana, though. Later in the summer I saw them on the North Shore, plus they started to crop up here at home.
Two people*, who are both my friends on Facebook but who live 1,400 miles apart and have never met and probably never will, both posted a link to this video. I took that to be a sign that I should spread the video a bit further.
* Fred was in my Jeopardy! audition group; unlike me, he appeared on the show, was a three-day champion, and won, iirc, $60,000+. Dorothy is a [former?] knitblogger who lives in the Pacific NW. Hi, Fred! Hi, Dorothy!
Yesterday I got an e-mail from Smokey's cousin G concerning her son and DIL in Chicago:
[Son] and [daughter-in-law] had a baby girl this morning, however, Son delivered the baby at their house! DIL started having labor pains about 3 a.m. and called the doctor about 5:30, and the doctor told her she still had several hours yet, but DIL was having intense labor pains and was waiting for Son to get 2-year-old Daughter ready. So then she went into the bathroom and started
screaming at Son and Son had to leave 2-yo Daughter in the highchair, and the
baby's head was coming out. So Son called 911 and they walked him
through delivering the baby. What was scary for him was getting her to
breathe, but she did and he tied off the cord, then the paramedics got
there and they let him cut the cord since he did all the work. No name yet,
they are both in shock still. She is 7 pounds 8 ounces (smaller then 2-yo daughter, she was 8 pounds 11 ounces), but she is nursing and DIL and the
little girl are doing great. Son said he remembered in the Navy not
to panic or things could get worse, so he decided,
well, I guess I am going to deliver a baby this morning! He did great
and so did DIL. I'll send the name later and some pictures. - Cousin G.
Maggie, #2 son's gf, was looking through my copy of Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. She noted model after model dressed in a hand-knit sweater and underpants and nothing else, except for the one model who appeared to be wearing the obligatory hand-knit sweater and a strategically placed cereal bowl. "Put some pants on!" she kept telling the models. She even called #2 son into the room to look at one particularly egregious fashion disaster -- I believe it involved a tank top, hand-knit skirt, patterned tights, and patterned shoes. "Ewwwww," was their consensus.
And that is my review of THAT book.
If you have a natural Christmas tree, remember to water it:
I would like to point out that on this, the last weekend of Good Old
2008, I finally updated my 2008 FO folder (link in the sidebar). That felt
so darned good that I updated my Ravelry projects page. And if I ever take the frickin' fotos, I will update my stash page, too. Warning: don't hold your breath.
I got another interesting couple of e-mails. Here is what they both looked like, except that the addressee -- which is not my e-mail address, btw -- was slightly different:
I immediately checked my PayPal account and was not surprised to see no such charge. I most assuredly did NOT click on the "Dispute Transaction" link near the bottom of the e-mail. If nothing else about the e-mail screams "Scam!" at you, at least look at the *math* in the middle. Sheesh.
I have had a tab open in Firefox all day long for Webs, debating about whether to order the Silky Wool for the Baby Cables & Big Ones, too (really stupid name for that pattern) sweater. I finally decided on a good neutral color (50) and the total $ turned out to be far less than I had previously estimated. (What was I thinking? Why did it take me so long to figure out their "discounts"?) But I had resolved not to buy any yarn this year, and I need to finish the kimono sweater OTN. The Lavold yarn is in my cart. Update: the yarn is ordered; frugality and common sense be damned.
BTW, did you know that when you are on a pattern page in Ravelry like the one I linked to, you can click on the "Yarns" tab at the top -- not the "Yarns" tab at the very top, instead the "Yarns" tab between "Details" and "nnn projects" -- and see all the different yarns that people have used for that particular pattern? Sweet feature!
This blog, Clusterfuck Nation by James Kunstler, is an interesting -- albeit depressing -- read. There is definitely a good deal of truth in what he says. I question his precise timing, but not his underlying thesis, which is that our present mode of life is unsustainable and will end sooner rather than later.
From today's (extremely long) post:
There are two realities "out there" now competing for verification
among those who think about national affairs and make things happen.
The dominant one (let's call it the Status Quo) is that our problems of
finance and economy will self-correct and allow the project of a
"consumer" economy to resume in "growth" mode. This view includes the
idea that technology will rescue us from our fossil fuel predicament --
through "innovation," through the discovery of new techno rescue remedy
fuels, and via "drill, baby, drill" policy. This view assumes an
orderly transition through the current "rough patch" into a vibrant
re-energized era of "green" Happy Motoring and resumed Blue Light
Special shopping. The minority reality (let's call it The Long
Emergency) says that it is necessary to make radically new arrangements
for daily life and rather soon. It says that a campaign to sustain the
unsustainable will amount to a tragic squandering of our dwindling
resources. It says that the "consumer" era of economics is over, that
suburbia will lose its value, that the automobile will be a diminishing
presence in daily life, that the major systems we've come to rely on
will founder, and that the transition between where we are now and
where we are going is apt to be tumultuous. My own view is obviously the one called The Long Emergency. ...The dialectic between the two realities can't be sorted out between the
stupid and the bright, or even the altruistic and the selfish. The
various tech industries are full of MIT-certified, high-achiever Status
Quo techno-triumphalists who are convinced that electric cars or
diesel-flavored algae excreta will save suburbia, the three thousand
mile Caesar salad, and the theme park vacation. The environmental
movement, especially at the elite levels found in places like Aspen, is
full of Harvard graduates who believe that all the drive-in espresso
stations in America can be run on a combination of solar and wind
power. I quarrel with these people incessantly. It seems especially tragic to me that some of the brightest people I
meet are bent on mounting the tragic campaign to sustain the
unsustainable in one way or another. But I have long maintained that
life is essentially tragic in the sense that history won't care if we
succeed or fail at carrying on the project of civilization.
Guess who has been having fun with TypePad's variety of fonts and colors today?
As Barack Obama ponders whom to pick as agriculture secretary, he should reframe the question. What he needs is actually a bold reformer in a position renamed “secretary of food".
Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of
Americans engaged in farming. But today, fewer than 2 percent are
farmers. In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat.
department would signal that Mr. Obama seeks to move away from a
bankrupt structure of factory farming that squanders energy,
exacerbates climate change and makes Americans unhealthy — all while
costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
“We’re subsidizing the least healthy calories in the supermarket — high fructose corn syrup
and hydrogenated soy oil, and we’re doing very little for farmers trying to grow real food,” notes Michael Pollan, author of such books as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.”
Around 90 sustainable-ag/food stalwarts — including Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Bill Niman — have sent a letter to the Obama transition team, listing six awesome candidates for what they called “the sustainable choice for the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.”
Any one of them would be a great ally for the food movement:
Gus Schumacher, Former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.
Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, NE.
Sarah Vogel, former two-term Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of North Dakota, attorney, Bismarck, ND.
Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ames, IA and President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY.
Neil Hamilton, attorney, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law and Director, Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, IA.
If you think this is something the Obama transition team should consider, please sign today. There were 45,000+ signatures on the petition when I signed it, up from 36,000 on December 12, when the second article, above, was written. That writer thought that if the petition got to 100,000 signatures within the next few days it would "...mean serious pressure for Obama to appoint a reformer as Secretary of Agriculture."
As long as I am sort-of ranting, I might as well throw this in from yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
One other worry some observers have about the [bailout of the banks and other financial institutions]: In the six weeks
since lawmakers approved Treasury's plans and set in train the massive
spending and financial reorganizing it entails, "no formal action has been taken
to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it
approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste," the
Washington Post reports. "It's a mess," Eric M. Thorson, the Treasury
Department's inspector general, tells the paper. "I don't think anyone
understands right now how we're going to do proper oversight of this
Remember the first days and weeks after the US invaded Iraq, and how millions (or was it billions?) of dollars of cash -- often in the form of pallets of bundled $100 bills -- were *distributed* with no oversight? Sheesh. For being from a party that traditionally stands for fiscal conservatism, this administration sure doesn't get it.
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Thank you for all your kind words yesterday about our Tabby. Gone but not forgotten, she now joins Junior and Zoot and Sheba and Daisy Bumble and Pius and Argyle, other cats we have loved, in that Great Litter Box in the Sky.