Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring is here! Yay!

Maybe not technically, but as far as the Florida planting season is concerned, it's Spring. Which means that Joe and I planted the garden last Sunday. I have pictures...

Here's the part that has plants that are already visible.


Peppers in the foreground, eggplant in the background...

I've got okra intercropped with all that but it hasn't sprouted yet...

We're still acquiring bricks to line the edges and the paths with.

The rest of the garden has, as I said, already been planted and within a month should have green beans, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow summer squash coming up. We're also going to intercrop that part with radishes (because supposedly they are quite good at distracting certain pests) and lettuce. Also, marigolds along the paths...

And in that pot that you can see in the above off to the right, is this:

It's sort of become my pet collard plant... I planted it in October of 2006 and basically forgot that it was there... I never water it, I don't do anything except ocasionally pick off the lower leaves and it just keeps going... So for now, I'm leaving it just as it is...

In our herb patch, the rosemary, oregano, and chives overwintered, and the mint is just beginning to come back.

We planted basil, tarragon, cilantro and dill to replace what did not overwinter... and we'll be adding more, no doubt as the season goes on...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey!! Kripke!!! Over here!! You need to see this!

Okay... y'all who don't watch Supernatural, don't need to worry about this. Those who do, you might want to read and add your two cents. Those who can be considered a Power That Be, go read this because it is for you.

An open letter to Eric Kripke (and Ben Edlund and Sera Gamble), airing just some of our collective grievances over the last several episodes, if not the entire third season, in a very coherent and well-thought-out sort of way. Really, Eric, you need to see this. The truth hurts, but I think you'll learn from it in the long run. 'Cause we're kinda pissed you killed off Henricksen. We might not forgive you for that for quite a while. At least until April. So sit on your hands a minute, and read, k? (Lord, I hope Eric reads this... if not, there are people planning to print it and send him a copy... 'cause like I said, we're pretty pissed.)

Also, Bela and Ruby speculation that I think would be really interesting and possibly fix the season.

Thoughts on Supernatural, 3.12: "Jus In Bello"

Obviously, there are ***spoilers*** here. And if you don't watch the show 1.) you should, and 2.) you won't understand any of this, I'm sure.

Onward... (I made this as brief as I could.)

* Bela's not funny. Dean and I are not amused. "... nothing about me." *sighs* I'm sorry, but this is getting old. Boys, darlings, seriously, send Ruby to get her and get the Colt back. Simple as pie. Simpler even. In any case, I'm disliking Bela more and more with every episode that she's in and I don't care what Kripke has up his sleeve concerning her. It can't be that good.

* Henricksen's such a badass. *giggles* If he didn't back it all up as well as he does, clueless as he is about what's really going on, I'd have to say "all icing, no cake." But he's got cake. And he is so all about the condescension when he has things to do. Also, he is like the calm eye in the middle of hurricane in the scene where the police are figuring out just how surrounded and cut off they all are. Check him out. You know, if he had lived through this, I could totally have seen him becoming a hunter... He could have been like the Anti-Gordon, you know. And that would have been really cool! Damn it, Kripke! Why so quick to kill off when you get bored?!?! See, Henricksen is a pretty steady guy. Not many could get possessed and be that... if not okay, at least maintaining afterward. And he learns really fast! Why, Kripke, why?!?!?!

* Nancy is so sweet. What is she doing working in a police station? Then again, it's a little town, so they probably don't have big time criminals to deal with often... if ever... But still, sweet girl... and obviously skilled in First Aid.

* Sam spoke Latin like it was his second language! That is so hot! ... So we're ending exorcisms on "audi nos" in this ep, huh? That's a new one... In fact, this is a new arrangement of the exorcism ritual... And they're ending on different "audi nos"s in each... and not the previously used ending, which was with an invocation of "the Father." Hmm... (You know I'm going to analyze these eventually, right?) Although, in the tape-recorded exorcism there, Jared was so just reading that off a page and had no idea what he was saying... I'm going to assume that there's a reason why they're ending the ritual with "audi nos" here and not with the prescribed invocation because I don't want them to have done that just for time, thinking no one would ever notice. Because there's no way I could have missed that if I'd tried. (Latin geek? Me?)

* You know, this episode is really good with the suspense... I'm on the edge of my seat at every commercial break, going, "No!! Come back here and tell me what happens next!!!"

* "Yay!" for anti-possession charms! Obviously, they've gotten more from Bobby. Also, I love the tattoos! Very nice! I also adore that Nancy is all concerned about them and asks, therefore making it necessary that they show us the tats to begin with. But really, I hearts the tattoos! If I were the type, I'd probably be going to get inked tomorrow, but am not... so will just pet the boys' tats from here...

As to the positioning of the tattoos, I've paused my DVR for closer inspection... Sam's looks crooked. Maybe inverted? Maybe. Because he's standing at the same angle as Dean to the camera, and his is definitely closer to being inverted than pointing upward. Now, the question is was that on purpose or did the make-up ladies make a mistake putting his on? Only time and another glimpse at the boys' flesh will tell...

* "Honestly, I think the world's gonna end bloody. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. We do have choices, and I choose to go down swinging." How very Viking of you, Dean. (Did I mention that I love the Vikings?... um... the Medieval Scandinavian people, not the football team...) Just when I think I can't love you any more than I already do, you say something Viking-ish and I "Guh!" just a little bit more inside.

* Hmmm... Virgin sacrifice. Did not see that one coming... Aww!! Nancy!! Look at her! She's so sweet! She's totally all Iphigenia at Aulus right now! And that would totally make Dean Achilles. The bestest of the bestest of all Greek heroes. Yay!!! *cheers*

* I have to say, Sam's willingness to go with Ruby's plan and not even try any other way without some serious prodding from Dean is rather... worrisome... 'Cause no matter how it turned out in the end, I'm with Dean on this one...

* Oh, Ruby, so pessimistic. "I'm disappointed. Because I tried. I really did. But clearly, I bet on the wrong horse." Oooohhh!! Is she going to want to switch sides now? Has she been all along and she's been like a double-agent? Has she done anything but play them for fools since she showed up? How come none of the demons outside go after her when she leaves? I'm full of questions about Ruby.

* I can't think of a better new Big Bad at the moment. And of course Lilith has got to be in the form of a little girl. Sam and Dean would be expecting a full-grown, probably smokin' hot woman. A little girl would be more likely to pass under their radar until it's too late... Now, we know it won't come to that... 'cause they're The Boys, and they'll eventually figure it out. But I think it's a very interesting way to start this part of the arc.

* You know, I'm really glad that they flip-flopped these episodes. I think it's a really good thing for story flow that "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (where Dean finds out what would happen to him if he dies in fulfillment of the Deal) and "Mystery Spot" (where Sam finds out what would happen to him if Dean dies) are now right next to each other, and then this episode happens where they find out who the new Big Bad is. If this one had been between "Dream a Little Dream" and "Mystery Spot" I think some of the momentum would have been lost.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Evolution is in Florida Public Schools! Thank God!


This article is copied in its entirety from the original source... because you know links to articles break or the articles are taken off the site, so. If it still works, click and go there, if not, it's here to read, from Wired Blog Network: Wired Science:

Evolution Wins as Creationists (Accidentally) Switch Sides in Florida
By Brandon Keim February 20, 2008 | 12:59:46 PM
Categories: Education, Evolution

The Florida Board of Education officially upheld evolution yesterday.

The board didn't quite mean to do that, of course. In a 4-3 vote, the Board accepted a proposed curriculum that replaced all references to evolution with the phrase "the scientific theory of evolution." In so doing, the board inadvertently made evolution central to public school science education, and also, almost incidentally, mandated education on just what constitutes a "scientific theory."

Until now, Florida's schools weren't required to teach evolution. The old curriculum guidelines didn't even mention it by name.

That state education officials would approve the new standards was not a foregone conclusion. Since last November, 12 county school boards passed resolutions calling for classroom evolution to be balanced by "alternatives" -- a polite euphemism for religiously orthodox explanations of life. The resolutions were non-binding, but raised fears that that the Board of Education would try to duck controversy by diluting the new standards.

Apart from being illegal, teaching creationism as science is a very bad idea. Students may not be permanently scarred by failing to learn about evolution at an early age -- though the National Academy of Science would surely disagree -- but, they're bound to be stunted if told that evolution and creationism are even remotely equivalent in any scientific sense.

Yesterday's decision is thus great news for Florida -- and perhaps for the nation. Had Florida backed down, Texas -- where a pro-evolution science education official was fired last year, and a curriculum revision is scheduled later this year -- might have followed suit. Together they exert enough purchasing power to drag the nation's textbook manufacturers with them, science be damned.

The 4-3 vote was obtained by including a last-minute amendment to the standards. Suggested last Friday by religious conservatives and dubbed the "academic freedom proposal," the amendment required that the curriculum's references to "evolution" be replaced by the "scientific theory of evolution."

The amendment's supporters called the language change a victory -- and it is, though not in the way they imagine.

Not only will Florida's students learn about evolution; they'll also learn that the scientific definition of a theory is different from the everyday definition, referring not to wild-eyed speculation but to a vast body of observation and testing that confirms a hypothesis so strongly that it might as well be considered fact.

A big thank-you, then, to religious critics of evolution education. The language change will better help Florida's children understand not only evolution, but science itself. (If only this USA Today headline writer had the same education.)

Isn't democracy grand?

Note: People interested in how religious and scientific beliefs need not conflict should check out my Q&A with evangelical theologist Michael Dowd.

Decision: Florida schools must teach evolution [Palm Beach Post]

Evolution joins curriculum [St. Petersburg Times]

Knitting and more knitting...

I'm taking stock of what I've got going and will have going soon here...

So I've got several knitting projects planned... I've got several that are more or less half-finished and will stay that way for a good long while yet... And then, I have two that are almost finished, but aren't.

One is Wisp... which only needs the buttons added and to have the woven-in ends trimmed off, so I really should get to that.

The other is a pair of Dashing mitts for my dear friend Zinzi. Zinzi, poor darling, is in New Haven, Connecticut at Yale... getting her MS degree in Epidemiology and Microbial Disease... She is already an RN, but she wants to be a researcher, so... Yale for grad school. Zinzi is a freakin' genius and I love her to death. I was supposed to have them done for her before she left last August, but that didn't happen... then school got in the way and I was supposed to have them done by the end of January, but that didn't happen either. So I say "poor darling" because not only does she have to endure the awful New Haven winter, but she has to do it with crappy dorm heating and no mitts to keep her hands warm while she's typing out brilliant papers. I would have them done by now, but I have to rip one of them out and redo it because it's the wrong size. And the one that is the right size still needs it's thumb. *sighs* I really need to get to that in the next week or so...

What else do I have on my plate? Well, I've got the yarn for Ice Queen (the blue one there), but I need the beads... and I have the yarn for Twinkle Toes, but I can't make them for myself because I've found that while the yarn might be stretchy, but it's not going to stretch enough that this pattern will fit my feet, so they'll have to go to someone with smaller feet. Ah well, once those are done, that will be a perfect Holiday present for someone...

Stuff that won't get done anytime soon... would be socks for my mom because I can't seem to find them. And Starsky because it's something else that needs to be ripped out, I fear...

And I really want a pair of Pedicure Socks, but I need a substitute yarn because I'm allergic to Patons Classic Merino Wool... something that they use in the fiber processing or their dyes, I think... But anyway, I need a pair of these... Really, I think I dreamed I had a pair last night. If that's not a sign, I don't know what is...

What will get done as soon as I get the supplies because it needs to be finished asap: Hats for the Boys. They won't be done by the time I go to EyeCon, this much I know, because EyeCon is the first weekend in April and I haven't even gotten the roving yet. But I want to do simple knit hats... kinda like this one (except not Abercrombie & Fitch):

or this one (except without all the orange or the... are those moose?):

(Those would be "the Boys" btw.)

I'll probably end up finishing them over the summer and send them to them on the set... That's where they'll need them anyway. It's cold up there in Vancouver, yo.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mmmm... endorphins...

So I've decided that it's time for me to get out there and exercise again. It's been well over a year since I've done anything significant because school had been kicking my butt. My weight got kinda ridiculous around November or so... but most of that stress-eating-induced increase has gone away by itself, as it tends to do with me. Still, horribly out of shape...

And there's no excuse now that I've graduated, so yesterday, I got on my bike and rode about a mile or so... just to see how that would go. It was nothing... So today, I got a little bit ambitious. I rode my old 3-mile route. Oy! When I got off the bike a minute ago, it felt the same as when I got off my friend Maria's horse last year after not riding one of those in 5 years... although at least this time, my legs held me up and I didn't fall all the way to the ground on spaghetti legs, giggling madly from the endorphin high (Sky [her horse] was so good not to step on me). Still, a bit dizzy and endorphin rush and that last half mile, woah! kicked. my. butt. let me tell you!

Still, it's a good little 3-mile route. Better than I remembered it being. I'm going to have to start going out a little earlier than this though because toward the end mosquitoes come out. And when I get a basket for my bike, I'll be able to stop my the Bearss Groves market sometimes for produce half way through. (YAY!) I already have a nice little shady park-like place to stop and do stretches at the half way point. And let me tell you, that helps so much in preventing sore muscles the next day.

But the biggest reason of all that I'm doing this right now is because I want to look better than I do now for my pictures with Jared Padalecki and other Supernatural stars at EyeCon in April. Fangirl? Me? Why, yes! Thank you for noticing!

Now, the big question will be if I can stand to not only ride my bike 3-miles at least three times a week for the next 6 weeks, but if I can also bring myself to do the 90-minute NYC Ballet workout DVD routine I've got at least twice a week... (I used to do it 4 times a week, but then I didn't have a bike.) There will also be regular gardening chores, beginning this Saturday because it is Spring planting time.

Oh, my. That's a lot. :D This is gonna be a good challenge...

Wish me luck!

... Okay, now I feel like I could ride another 3-miles... but I can't... stupid mosquitoes... oh, endorphins...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In other news... My new HitchHiker!

My HitchHiker arrived! YAY!! *does a dance of joy*

It looks super cool! Everything I could need is attached... The extra different-sized whorls, the orifice hook, the bobbins on the lazy kate, even a little bottle of oil to keep everything lubed up. It's got rubber feet on the bottom so that it won't slip around on the floor (which has always been a problem for me with my full sized Saxony). And I'm really surprised by how light it is and yet how sturdy. It seems to be designed so well! Everything is simply put together, but seems to work seamlessly. There's no extra parts... no fluff or clutter. Everything is compact, has its place and its purpose and is efficient. And yet it's so cute! (How many modern-styled wheels can that be said about? I was so turned off by the look of a lot of the more modern-type wheels because... I don't know. They looked industrial or something.)

So, so cool! I can't wait to try it out!

Now, I just need to find me some roving... *off to do that*

In other news: How cool is this?!?!

I've never seen this sort of thing before... a kick-spindle... Wow!

Addendum: Problems with the HitchHiker... Yeah, is it obvious that my Saxony is a double-drive? This scotch tension thing is complicated. Also, there's a bit of a problem with the flyer hitting the handle. I've sent out the word for help on forums for such things and am waiting for replies... Will keep you posted...

Supernatural next week...

It's that second episode with a Latin title that I was talking about a few weeks ago, Jus In Bello... The "First Look" spoiler clips have just been posted to YouTube for everyone to see, and I'm like this: O.O

So it goes without saying that the rest of this post is full of spoilers, and so are the clips themselves... (So stop reading this now if you don't want to know before it airs.)

There's two clips. The first kinda sets up the second a little bit, but the second one actually has Latin in it. Oh, YUM!

One thing you should probably know about it beforehand though is that Sam and Dean are being held by the FBI at some jail somewhere on a bunch of charges including many, many counts of murder, fraud, breaking and entering, arson, grave desecration, and the list goes on and on... The main agent after them (you'll see him in the first clip) has been trying to catch them since half-way through last season, and he thinks they are extremely dangerous psychopaths... Well, he's half-right. :D

Enjoy! :D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jensen's in Austrailia... *squee*

Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean Winchester on my favorite tv show, Supernatural, is in Austrialia doing press for the show while it's still on hiatus due to the WGA strike.

The strike, thankfully, ended this week, and production should be starting again soon. We'll get another 5 or 6 episodes for season 3 before the summer hiatus, which will total 17 or 18 for the season. The last two new pre-strike episodes will air Thursday February 14, and Thursday, February 21 on the CW at 9pm ET. Episodes can also be viewed here at the CW website for free (only the last several that have aired), downloaded (at 1.99 per episode) at iTunes and Amazon.com, and the first two seasons can be bought on DVD just about anywhere that's well stocked, as well as online (if one shops around, one can usually find them for $30 each or less).

Unfortunately - *sighs* - the closest areas to you, Ilana, that have CW stations are Clarksburg, WV, Harrisonburg, VA, Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and Lancaster, PA... In other words, you're surrounded, but I doubt any of them reach where you are. What a bummer! At least... I'm bummed about it...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Project Laundry List and National Hanging Out Day

Project Laundry List is trying to get just 1 million people in the US to sign a pledge to hang out laundry 80% of the time by April 19, 2008 (National Haning Out Day). You can go here to print out a copy of the pledge form and send it in.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Angie in Baghdad

I know that a lot of people don't like Angelina Jolie for whatever reason they might have for that. But I think she's wonderful and amazing. She's in Baghdad right now trying to get a picture of the refugee crisis in Iraq for UNHCR (which at this time is not officially allowed in the country). There's video and an interview at CNN.com. Check out how poised she is in the midst of all those camera flashes and how much that interview is not about her. She blows me away...