Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween is like Christmas!

LOL! Not really... But my friend Joe brought me the leftover chocolate cake with raspberry filling from his office Halloween party because I helped him make it last night and it is YUM!

Check out Joe's awesome Captain Jack Sparrow costume! I made the pants...

And my friend Chelsea just bequeathed unto me an entire trash bag full of Lopi yarn. She is awesome! It's old stuff... Her mom has had it for a long time... I've never heard of the company: "Arctic Sheep." It was made in Iceland.

I've got two dark green, one navy blue, one red, seven light green, and eight undyed natural white.

Going by the photographs on the one pattern pamphlet she had for it, I'd say the late-80s? It's hard to tell...

But it was mothproofed, so it's undamaged despite its age. I'm not terribly sure how I feel about the mothproofing. I looked it up, and supposedly, the pesticide that is used for such things is stable and does not come out, as it is applied like an acid dye, and exposure to it is supposedly safe and insignificant. And there's still vegetable matter in the wool... like a significant and surprising amount. So that makes me feel a lot better, as far as the harshness of the chemicals it was exposed to during processing, whether it's for reasons of ignorance about how bad chemicals can be and not burn away grass or not... I dunno... Also, due to age, I wonder if it would be easier to wash the chemicals out... I would think they'd only stay around for so long, and not indefinitely. I would think. In any event, it's lovely stuff, and I think I'll use it for felting projects. Lopi is heavenly for felting. Or maybe a rug...

Meanwhile, now that everyone has departed for their evening activities, I'm knitting dishcloths for holiday gifts and watching the Live TAPS Investigation of Fort Delaware on the Sci-Fi Channel... Interesting things going on. Disembodied voices in the dark and stuff...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yeah... that's about it, I guess...

Got this from Ilana...


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

20 Impressionist, 6 Islamic, 4 Ukiyo-e, -30 Cubist, -24 Abstract and 12 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy


Yeah... I adore Degas and Cassatt and several others of the Impressionist movement. There's so much of the visual arts world that this quiz ignores, but it's still pretty well spot on here... I think.


More quizzes...

Your result for The ARE YOU A HEDONIST? Test...

Somewhat Hedonistic

36% Hedonistic!

Your answers tell me that while you find your own happiness to be important, you care more about the happiness of those around you. You are likely a charming, effective, generous, friendly, practical, responsible, and traditional person. Good for you!

Take The ARE YOU A HEDONIST? Test at HelloQuizzy

Your result for The Celtic Goddess Test...


You scored 35 Tailtiu, 9 Brigid, -14 Aine, 11 Macha, 4 Rhiannon and 1 Cerridwen!

You should worship Tailtiu [said TELL-tay] - the Irish goddess of the land. Foster mother to the Sun God Lugh. She sacrificed her life, dying, clearing the fields of Ireland so that the new crops could grow. Lught dedicated funeral games in her honor and you can still celebrate her at Lughnasad on August 2nd.

Take The Celtic Goddess Test at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is kinda awesome...

And it rhymes...

And so is this (added Oct. 29, 2008)...

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Coal is NEVER Clean...

This is yet another of my PSA posts...

Seriously... Even if coal could be burned in a way that is "clean," mining it and processing it are EXTREMELY dirty. Coal mining pollutes the immediate environment around the mining operation, causing asthma, cancer and other serious health problems in humans, as well as water sources, which carry the pollutants - including many which cause cancer and kill entire freshwater ecosystems - downstream where people are directly exposed without knowing that it's happening. Coal companies are not required to notify people who live downstream that the pollutants could kill them and their children or even that the pollutants are being released into their water. Coal companies are not required to clean-up their own mess. They profit (just like some bankers you might have heard about recently) and taxpayers pay for the clean-up, if any clean-up happens at all. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS CLEAN COAL!!!

Promote and support wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal energy! Go here or here or here to learn just a few of the ways you can help.

Pass it on...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stash knit-down... and other things...

So... I've been trying to get rid of things, rather than continuing to accumulate, and cleaning out things. I feel like I'm cleaning up my burrow, getting ready to hibernate for the winter, and maybe I am. I've been busy this week. Perhaps it's a way to procrastinate? Since I'm usually too tired by the time I'm done to even think about studying for the GKT which is on Saturday... I dunno... I will get around to looking at it at some point. I'm not terribly worried about the GKT though. After all, I graduated with a GPA above 3.0. Could something called the General Knowledge Test be that great a challenge? The math, perhaps, because I suck at math, and will review some of that before Saturday, but I'm not terribly worried at all about the essay or verbal sections...

So, yes... Procrastinating...

I've been mending things that I come across. Two pillowcases with ripped seams, shirts and pants that were missing buttons and various other sundries. Nothing makes me feel more productive than taking something that was unusable because it was in want of repair and making it useful again...

I also got rid of a whole bunch of tea... My tea cupboard looks terribly bare now. I had a lot of old tea hanging around though. Got rid of everything that had artificial flavors 'cuz why when there's so many good natural flavors in the world? And I got rid of everything that was out of date. I had stuff that's marked "best if used by Jan 05" in there! o.O That was awhile ago, you know. *sighs* So yeah... very little in the way of tea in there now. Maybe 15 kinds? (LOL! Can you tell I'm a tea person in extremis?)

I've been going through my yarn stash and allocating some for certain projects so I can use it up and some for distribution to friends who are new to knitting and don't have a stash yet. I've got a lot of yarn! Only a fraction of it is in my Ravelry stash. I should maybe list some of it there as being up for trade or sale because seriously some of this stuff I will never use. This is not to say that I don't want more yarn. All fiber addicts know that you always want more yarn. And it's not that I have so much that I have no where to store new stuff - because I can always find more room for the good stuff. It's just that I have so much that I don't want and so much that needs making into useful items. So I'm trying to knit-down and give away my stash as much as I can.

I've also been looking at old projects of all sorts.

  • I frogged a headband tonight. I decided the pattern was too fussy. I want to do something else with the yarn. (Cotlin from KnitPicks.) Not sure what, since both of the other patterns I have which use one ball of this yarn aren't things I'd like to make either... For now, it's going in the stash. It's too nice to use for something I don't like...

  • I've been working on two 1864 Ladies' Winter Shawls that I started several years ago and which have been lying around half-finished ever since. I have only the fringes to finish on those now.

  • I also picked up and have been working on an embroidery project that I put aside many, many years ago. In fact, I can't remember when I started it exactly. I know I put it down because working with a tiny needle like that for hours on end for many days in a row makes my tendinitis act up (this time, I'm being more careful) and it got so bad that I had to wear a brace for three weeks straight. I think that was my Freshman year of college. Which would be... like 6... 7 years ago? Something scary like that... But I've picked it up again. I find that some of it might be out of alignment and I might need to rip out some of it and fix it. Right now, I'm basting in guidelines so that I can better judge if things need drastic correction. I'm very willing to do that if necessary because when this is done, it will be so pretty (if I do say so myself)! It's my own design. A cross-stitch castle surrounded by rose bushes at the top, and two cross-stitch dragons passant facing each other at the bottom. In between, a little verse in fanciful script and bands of stitching... like a band sampler, I guess. The only band that I have done right now is the two-tone double-herringbone. It's all on light blue linen. Very pretty. I originally meant to make it for a young cousin when she first got her own bedroom - princess themed - when she was about 2, but she's much older now, so I think I'll keep it instead. I'll post pictures soon.

Once the old projects are done, I'll pick up the more recent ones which are now hibernating - like the Hey Teach sweater I started about a month ago. And maybe I'll finally get around to painting the mural I've got sketched on the walls in the bathroom...

Randomly - I really like the version of As You Like It with Bryce Dallas Howard that was done last year...Check it out if you haven't seen it. Shakespeare in late 19th-century Japan with some people in western clothes and some people in Japanese. It is very interesting. I love unexpected adaptations of Shakespeare... That things like that work just goes to show Shakespeare's eternal genius.

I seriously enjoy these lines:

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it.

Speaking of Shakespeare... Even if you don't watch Doctor Who (and you should if you don't), you'll probably still find this funny (though of course, it is funnier if you do watch Doctor Who). I laugh myself silly every time I watch it and I think I've seen it at least 100 times now. Catherine Tate, for those who don't know, played "Donna Noble," the most recent of the Doctor's companions. David Tennant plays the 10th Doctor. In this video, Catherine Tate plays "Lauren Cooper," an obnoxious British schoolgirl who likes to drive her teachers crazy. It's a sketch kinda like the reoccurring sketches on SNL. Anyway... Watch...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Captain America

So... I love comic book movies. I'm not crazy for them, I don't analyze them, I don't freak out if they mess things up (generally speaking), I don't read the comic books they're based on, but I see pretty much every one that's released. I enjoy them. My favorites are The X-Men Trilogy (pretty much only because of Hugh Jackman - he saved it I think - and the amazing Patrick Stewert and Ian McKellan), Spiderman 3 (cause I thought it was a really good way to end the trilogy and that they knocked it out of the park), and Iron Man (cause Robert Downey Jr. is completely AMAZING! in it and I adore him to pieces).

Iron Man, of course, started something new though... It was the first of the many films that studio will produce about The Avengers. The second, of course, was The Incredible Hulk. The next will be Thor and then in 2011, Captain America. The Captain hasn't been cast yet. Fan boards are abuzz with suggestions and speculations. I have two suggestions... I'm sure neither will be listened to... as is usually the case, but until official word comes down from the studio, I hope anyway. I've heard that they want someone younger than both of my fav's, but honestly, I can't imagine anyone in their early-to-mid twenties playing the part. We're not talking Private America... it takes a little time at least to get promoted to Captain, you know. Early 30s seems more reasonable to me than early-to-mid 20s.

So Jensen Ackles would be beautiful and amazing, and he's my number 2 choice.

But my number one - simply because he exudes this amazing energy like he does CO2 when he exhales and just as easily and I find that incredibly hot, I don't care what, and I think that would serve him well as Captain America - John Barrowman. For real and true. I know he's 41 years old, but I defy anyone who doesn't know that to guess a single day over 33 on one of his bad days! Seriously, he's so young looking, it's superhuman.

And when I first heard they were doing Captain America as a movie, I thought of John Barrowman in the role instantly. Jensen is freaking gorgeous and amazingly talented too, and would do an amazing job. I don't mean to slight him in the least by picking John Barrowman over him. I wanted him for the young Captain Kirk in Star Trek 11 so bad and was so disappointed that he wasn't cast. But yeah, John Barrowman for Captain America. *nods*

Seriously, check him out:

Isn't he SO Captain America?!?!?! He is. *nods sagely* And he said at ComicCon when asked that he would love to do it, so yeah... *hoping so much*

And this gorgeous man can sing too (not that that has anything to do with Captain America, but God I love to listen to him sing!):

*passes out from his smokin' hotness*

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ilana, avert thine eyes...

There be beaucoup spoilers for Supernatural Season 4 here...

And this is going to get very weird and be of no interest to anyone who doesn't watch Supernatural.



k... So there's a question of whether or not Sam has been having sex with Ruby off-camera this season. Now, personally, I doubt it. I mean, yeah, it's possible, but it hasn't been at all confirmed, only very vaguely suggested by circumstantial evidence and in ways that could have completely different explanations, and until it is confirmed - either by Kripke himself or because it's said or shown directly on-screen - I won't believe it. Sam doesn't show any kind of affection toward her. He just won't let Dean send her back to Hell. She doesn't show any particular affection toward him, unless one can take a sympathetic tone of voice as affection. And I've heard many plausible explanations for why Ruby was walking around Sam's motel room in her underwear and a tank top in "Lazarus Rising" (and btw, Sam was nonplussed and fully-dressed himself). It seemed like roommates to me, friends maybe, but not friends-with-benefits.

Even though Jared said this. Actors are often wrong about assumptions they make about their characters and where story lines are going. For example, several years ago Daniel Radcliffe said he thought JK Rowling would kill Harry Potter in the last book and that's how it would all end, which obviously didn't happen. And Orlando Bloom thought that Legolas was younger than Arwen and that Boramir's death was the first time he'd ever had to deal with someone he was close to dying, even said that's the way he was playing things, with these character details in his mind, even though there is nothing in The Lord of the Rings, related novels or movie scripts that would suggest either of those things. In fact, the strongest evidence, found in The Silmarillion, is that Legolas is actually even older than Elrond, Arwen's father, and that he's been battling evil things in Middle Earth since at least the First Age (The Lord of the Rings is set in the time period known as the Third Age). Jared could be just as wrong in his assumption about what Sam and Ruby have been up to in the interim between seasons.

But this question has started some of the most angry and impassioned debate this fandom has ever seen, I think. And if Sam has been having sex with Ruby, I do agree in a very general sort of way with those who have said that Sam would then be raping the woman Ruby has possessed, and indeed, helping Ruby to torture the poor woman. And that is unequivocally wrong and so not cool and Sam should be beaten about the head and neck for not realizing it, and even more so if he did realize it and did it anyway. A swift kick in the balls would be nice too. And if Kripke and the other writers didn't realize that that's essentially what would be going on here if they took this route, they need to have their laptops confiscated for a while and have a time-out to think about what they've done, followed by an appropriately contrite apology for being impetuous and not thinking things through. And if they did realize that Sam would be raping this woman and did it anyway and on purpose, then they just went way darker than I ever thought them capable, and I'm not sure what an appropriate punishment would be in that case because I'm far too shocked by that possibility to come up with one.

Because by Supernatural's own mythology, a person who is possessed by a demon can be conscious of what's going on around them, and to them, but they are entirely trapped and unable to do anything to help themselves or anything or anyone else. Therefore, a woman (or man for that matter) who is possessed is incapable of consenting to anything. And even if the woman whose body Ruby has possessed has been killed, as the Katie Cassidy version of Ruby turned out to be, as we saw in 3.16, if she wasn't dead at the time her body was possessed, her soul and consciousness could be kept alive and trapped inside her body by the demon, as we saw with Meg in Season 1. Even if she dies instantly or within minutes of Ruby leaving her body because of damage incurred while she was possessed, like Meg in "Devil's Trap," that doesn't matter. She still would have been in there while all this has been going on.

However, if the body that Ruby is possessing is essentially an animated corpse, as the FBI agent in "Jus In Bello" and Isaac after he died in "The Magnificent Seven" both seemed to be, if the woman's soul and consciousness is no longer there and she wasn't killed or pushed out by Ruby in order that Ruby could possess her body, I don't have nearly the problem with it. In fact, I don't think I would have any problem with it. Other than, ew, Sam, did you have to? She's a demon! And before anyone brings wank here about it being necrophilia in that case, I disagree. The body isn't dead and rotting as long as Ruby is in it. She lives and breathes inside that body, and eats french fries and pizza, and her heart beats and her brain thinks, so essentially, it would have become Ruby's body, and it's alive as long as she's possessing it.

Furthermore - on the ever-growing list of reasons why I don't think Sam has had sex with Ruby - since Sam has been possessed himself and made to do horrible things he didn't want to do by the demon who had possessed him, I can't for one minute believe the feelings and perspective of the person being possessed by Ruby wouldn't occur to him before he did something stupid. No, and I don't care that it might have been out of blinding grief over loosing Dean. Sam has been shown to be too freaking up tight about such things time and again, even while his opinions on other subjects have changed drastically. He always has seemed to keep his physical needs under tight control, bolted down, and he internalizes more than he seeks outside comfort. I'm not saying it's healthy, but that seems to be what he does. I think it would have been far more in-character if he went out and killed some evil things and then went back to his motel room - alone - to bury himself in a bottle of Jack in order to deal, than that he at any point fucked the grief away with Ruby in the body of a poor possessed woman.

Also, Sam is and always has been shown to be what I would call an exceptionally Good Boy when it comes to how he conducts himself around and toward women. He's entirely sincere with no pretense or ulterior motivation with both Jess (yeah, that's different because that was a long-term relationship) and Madison, and as much as he can be with Sarah Blake. He doesn't flirt casually, even with women he finds attractive. He seems to see that women are not objects of any sort at all and each is a unique and complete person unto themselves, and when he talks to them, it's in a straight-forward manner. I'd argue that while Dean is not a misogynist - that he loves and respects women in general and in particular - he also has a tendency to objectify and put females into nice little boxes without necessarily seeing very far beyond the label he's given them, or they've given themselves, especially if he sees them as a focus of sexual desire, because boy doesn't think with his upstairs brain enough to do otherwise. (It's cute though... in fiction, anyway. Despite myself, I have to admit that. But I also think what Sam does is just as cute and would have a lot more real-life success, at least with me.) Dean has almost nothing else but pretense and ulterior motivation when he talks with women he's attracted to... he wants to get in their pants and he'll say just about whatever he needs to to get there. Now, I won't say he's wrong to do this (he only seems to do this with women who know the score and aren't likely to be offended by his attempt or surprised when he kisses them good-bye), I'm just saying that he's very different from Sam.

In a most recent example of this kind of difference between the two of them, Sam was disgusted when Dean called the barwench a "barwench" in episode 4.06, and he seemed not a little disgusted that she let Dean get away with calling her a "barwench." Now, in the barwench's defense (and yes, I know her name was "Jamie" and that she was a perfectly lovely person), I myself in a similar situation - dressed as a St. Pauly Girl barwench, serving drinks in a bar during Oktoberfest - wouldn't blink at being called a "barwench" by a patron either. It's part of the costume and the persona in that case, and it's all in good fun to play along and go with it. Dean just was being harmlessly flirtatious, he was playing and she knew it and played back (though he was entirely sincere in his desire to pick up said barwench for some after-hours nookie, and he got shut down cold that time too, though he was eventually successful). It's as my friend Karina pointed out, guys who call their brothers out on the inappropriateness of calling a woman dressed as a barwench a "barwench", like Sam did, are not the kinds of guys who would have sex with a woman who can't consent. It does not jive (to borrow the usage from television production) track.

So yeah, I think if anything indecorous was going on with this Sam and Ruby situation, without the writers walking us down the path with Sam to let us know just why and how things have been turned on their head in this area of his character as well, which they have not, it would be seriously, seriously out of character for him. Saying that Sam was trying to be more like Dean wouldn't cut it here. If it were just anonymous one-night-stands, that would be very Dean-like and very anti-Sam-like of this supposed new more Dean-like Sam, but Ruby wouldn't be a one-night-stand, she sticks around, and that she's a demon in a possessed body would go against both Sam and Dean's characters.

Okay... This was weird. I know. But I wanted to post it here because this is the most likely place where I post such things that Kripke and Co. might find it, if (and that's a very big "if") they ever would.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I went to Shabbat services tonight. Alone because no one else would go with me. I'm glad I went though... although there was no one there who I knew. There were people whose faces are familiar, but none that I'd say are close friends or that were at one time particularly close friends, but one, who is the mother of a boy I went to preschool with. Thought that quite strange. Perhaps many of them, like us, don't usually go to Friday night services anymore, now that their kids are grown and have moved away. That none of the kids were there surprised me too... None of the kids I grew up with, that is. Many of them are in college or grad school, and if they go to services, it's likely they go to the Hillel at school here, or wherever it is they are, rather than to a synagogue, and of course, several have moved far away.

There were, however, lots of children there, including the rabbi's daughter who is a toddler. Several of them ran around and played quietly in the corners and in other rooms during the services. I find that practice of our synagogue rather delightful. That kids are welcome to play, as long as they don't disturb the service. (Never having gone to another, I don't know if it's different or the same elsewhere.) It was that way when I was little too. But when I was little, we didn't meet in a synagogue, not having raised enough money to build our own building yet. We met in a borrowed-just-on-Friday Episcopal church, and they had kneeling benches (if they have a proper name, I don't know it), which of course we didn't use, but the kids liked to do what we weren't supposed to do (because if we weren't careful, they would drop very loudly and echo in the large, tile-floored room with the cathedral ceiling)... We'd unfold and lower them very carefully, as quietly as we could so we wouldn't get caught, and then sit on them, on the floor, instead of on the hard, uncomfortable wooden pews. As far as I remember, the kneeling benches were only marginally more comfortable, being padded, but we were smaller then and it had the air of something forbidden. LOL! That's one of the few things I remember about that building, the kneeling benches. The only other things I remember from that church were the tiny gruesome paintings along the walls on both sides of the room of a bleeding, thin, near-naked man being hurt by other people that I much later realized must have been the Stations of the Cross (because, of course, being Jewish and 5 - 8 years old, I had no idea what they were at the time and I don't remember ever asking. I knew it had something to do with Christianity, and I knew that the cross carried in the paintings was mirrored by the huge what must have been twenty foot high cross hanging above the alter and in front of the most magnificent organ I have seen to this day - seriously, it was gigantic and had dozens and dozens of pipes sticking up like spires all along the back of the sanctuary... These being other things I remember, obviously), and the kitchen and food hall, where we'd have refreshments every Friday after services and occasionally Passover Seders and other parties. I remember that the ladies' room was tiny and always smelled of soft soap and flowery air fresheners. It might have been yellow. I remember hiding under tables and playing with other kids, my childhood friends, laughing and running around. That's about it. Okay, enough reminiscing...

Tonight, the rabbi talked about Sukkot's pagan roots because Sukkot is this week. He talked about how the Jews were not the first to think to do a special ritual in their fields at harvest time in order to ensure plenty through the winter. His mentor when he was in seminary explained to him once the correct way to shake a lulav and etrog on Sukkot. The lulav is three types of tree branches (palm, myrtle, and willow) bound together with palm leaves in a very elaborate fashion and the etrog is a citron that smells very strongly of lemon. They are to be smelled and held together and shaken in every direction out of doors on Sukkot, to the east, south, west and north, then up and then down. This is meant to symbolize that God is in every direction and everywhere. He said his mentor said not to point the lulav downward, but to keep it upright and just lower it when it got to the part where it's shaken down. Because if he were to point it down "that would be paganism." He said he laughed because that's just how close this ritual is to ancient pagan Near East custom. And you can easily imagine similar rituals in other types of pagan religion throughout history. He said that doesn't make Sukkot invalid or a "fake" holiday as some critics have said. To him if anything it makes the festival more valid. Because here is something extremely ancient, thousands of years old, that predates the Jewish religion by hundreds if not thousands of years, and it has been adapted to Jewish belief (as have many other things). We've, essentially, made it our own and found our own meaning in it. (To read more about this ritual, you can find info here.) Indeed...

He also talked about the pagan roots of Purim (that it was like a Mid-East/Persian Mardi Gras - and near to the same time of year as the modern Catholic Mardi Gras - long before it was the celebration of the bravery of a beloved Persian Queen of Jewish descent) and speculated about the pagan roots of Chanukah... because although the Maccabean Revolt certainly happened, it's not exactly an original idea to have a holiday involving the importance of light timed somewhere around the Winter Solstice. Double indeed. It was very interesting... He also talked about not being perfect, that the festivals aren't perfect, that we ourselves aren't perfect and should not expect either to be perfect. He talked about how beautiful the weather is this time of year, and how pleasant, and about how the existence of bread is a little miracle and so before we eat it we say a prayer of thanks for it - called "the Hamotzi." (This is for bread, specifically, and this prayer is not the same as saying grace, which is said over any and all types of food.) It was a nice little sermon. I wish, as I usually do after a thought provoking sermon, that I could remember more about it, more about the deeper meaning of it, or at least get a copy of it. I feel weird about asking for a copy though, so I never do...

They're having a Sukkot service on Monday evening, and Tuesday at mid-day... Since I have nothing else in particular to do, I'm thinking of going to those too, or at least the one on Tuesday.

My other goal for the weekend is to write a resume. Next week, I want to apply for a job with a private tutoring company. Still haven't heard a thing from the county about subbing. I think it's rather rude that they ask people to e-mail to inquire about the status of their applications and not to call the office, but don't have the courtesy to e-mail them back at all for more than five days now. Could they really get that many e-mail inquiries? Oh, well, if they're going to be that way. They can get back to me when they feel like getting back to me. In the mean time, I'm prepping for the GKT, which I'll take on October 25th, and looking for other options, of which there are actually quite a few I've been quite excited to find.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food for thought...

If every American used a clothesline to dry their laundry instead of an electric dryer, we would collectively offset the amount of energy produced by NINE large power plants. ~ Source Project Laundry List

8% - 10% of the average American household's electric bill every month goes to running their dryer. ~ Source Project Laundry List

So do your part if you don't already and start line drying whenever possible instead of using the an electric dryer. It will save you money and save us all a lot of energy.

Clothes lines are easy to install and are inexpensive. Even the most elaborate will pay for itself in electric bill savings within a few months. Indoor drying racks can run anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the size, what kind of wood it's made from, where it was made (look for "Made in the USA"!) and how sturdy it is. Some look like finished furniture and/or can be hung on a wall of a laundry room, providing shelf space as well as drying space. Most fold away for easy storage in a corner, closet or under the bed.

Clothes lines and indoor air drying racks can be bought at Walmart, most hardware stores, and online from places like Gaiam and Lehman's.

Existing fences and dense shrubbery (like boxwoods!) can also be used as auxillery drying space.

Clothes pins available for retail purchase in the United States are exclusively manufactured in China now. The last of those made in the US were sold last year. However, unused, second-hand and vintage clothes pins can be bought on ebay at inexpensive prices. (Seriously, you'd be surprised...)

I'm sad to say that of the 16 houses on our street, only 4 have clothes lines, including ours. However, two of those clothes lines - including ours - were put up in the past year directly due to the work of Project Laundry List. I love my clothes line.

If you live in an apartment or dormatory and you don't have outdoor drying space, but you want it, petition your landlord or campus authorities to allow for outdoor drying space on the basis that it saves both money and energy. If clothes lines are prohibited in your town/neighborhood, see Project Laundry List for tips about how to secure your right to dry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

JibJab Cartoons...

They amuse me...

Their latest...

More hilarity may be found here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If you've been wondering who's been starting those Obama rumors...

Like that Obama is really a secret Muslim and he went to a school in Jakarta known for its extremist ideology, it's this guy. Very interesting NY Times article about someone who obviously has a lot of time on his hands to make things up off the top of his head. I'd say more, but he likes to file frivolous lawsuits. But I will say, I am extremely offended by this guy on so many levels.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The WhoFarm

Has nothing at all to do with Dr. Seuss, as much as we love him and his Whos...

Some very thoughtful fellow citizens have come up with a fantastic idea. They want to petition the next president of the United States to have an organic community garden installed on the White House grounds (which are extensive and could support quite a large garden with plenty of lawn left over, you know...). The food grown there would provide fresh produce for the President's table, as well as for State Dinners, with all the rest being delivered to DC area schools to be used for student lunches. They call it the White House Organic Farm or WhoFarm for short. They're looking for signatures to add to the online petition. If you're interested in encouraging such a thing, click.

I'd also love it if the next President would have clothes lines installed for drying laundry instead of using electric dryers. It would save a lot of energy and set an excellent example for the rest of the country. Using a dryer makes up 8 - 10% of the average family's monthly electric bill. Sunshine and fresh air are free, so if one has it, one should probably think about using it. Especially when energy is getting more and more expensive and the economy is in the ridiculous condition it currently finds itself.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

After due diligence and consideration, these are...

My recommendations and endorsements for the 2008 General Election...

President and Vice President - Barack Obama and Joe Biden

... That shouldn't be a surprise if you've been reading this blog...

The rest of these are things that only Florida voters or voters in my own district/county/area can vote on:

Representative in Congress District 9 - Bill Mitchell

State Representative District 60 - E. J. Ford

Local Stuff...

Property Appraiser - Ken Ayers

Tax Collector - Beverly P. Harris

Supervisor of Elections - Phyllis Busansky

Board of County Commissioners District 2 - Ken Hagan (REP - He is the only candidate. I will likely under-vote this.)

Board of County Commissioners District 6 - Kevin Beckner (Seriously, he's awesome.)

Nonpartisan Positions...

Shall Justice Charles T. Wells of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

Yes. Or No. (see comments.)

Shall Judge Chris W. Altenbernd of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?


Shall Judge Carolyn K. Fulmer of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

No. I don't agree with her ruling in this case. It seems to me that the ruling is incomplete, as it doesn't take into account all the facts of the case, and unduly biased. (Others have found other questionable rulings besides this one - see comments.)

Shall Judge Morris Silberman of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?


Shall Judge James W. Whatley of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?


School Board Member District 7

Stephen Gorham - my dad, an educator of more than 35 years, says this is the guy to vote for, so I'm going with him without question...

Soil and Water Conservation District

- Despite this being a "nonpartisan" position, some of the candidates are advertising their affiliation, so I'm choosing to pass that info along since I can't find out much else about them...

Group 2

*A.J. Brent - Libertarian, is for recognizing same-sex marriage and for a woman's right to choose... not that that has anything at all to do with the position he's running for...

Richard Van Epps - can't find out a thing about him, except that he's the incumbent...

Group 4

*Jeffrey Ross Garbus - Libertarian, is for recognizing same-sex marriage and for a woman's right to choose... not that that has anything at all to do with the position he's running for...

Betty Jo Tompkins - Republican, vice-chairman of the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation

* These are the candidates I'll probably vote for. I don't feel strongly in favor of them because I know so little about them, but can't say I know any more about their opponents that would encourage me to vote for them instead.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

No. 1 - Would allow persons deemed ineligible for citizenship to own property in Florida and prohibit the legislature from regulating such a thing now or in the future. This has no business being a Constitutional Amendment. Such a thing should be regulated by State Statute, if necessary.


Unsure. I'm doing more research on this one.

No. 2 - Essentially this is an anti-GLBT rights amendment which would write discrimination based on sexual orientation into our State Constitution. There is already a law in the State Statutes that prohibits homosexual relationships from being legally recognized as valid and binding, as in marriage, whether preformed in the state of Florida or another state or country. So - on top of being discriminatory - its proposal is also redundant.


No. 3 - Exempts improvements on residential structures that increase resistance to wind damage (as from hurricanes) or the installation of renewable energy sources (such as windmills or solar panels) from being considered as part of the taxable value of the property. So - essentially - this does not raise taxes for those people who choose to install hurricane shutters or solar or wind power generators and does not effect the taxes of any one else.


No. 4 - Exempts land held perpetually in conservation (and therefore not for development or other use) from being assessed property taxes.


No. 6 (there is no No. 5) - Assesses waterfront property based on its current use. I honestly have no idea why this is necessary, and isn't already provided for somewhere in state law, but... there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it.


No. 8 (there is no No. 7) - Requires the legislature to allow individual counties to levy an additional local sales tax to provide funding for community colleges. The tax would have to be approved by the voters, and, if approved by the voters, it will have to be reapproved after five years or it will no longer be assessed. The amendment doesn't require counties to propose an extra local sales tax, nor does it compel the citizens of counties that do propose such a tax to approve it.


County Referenda

These are not numbered, however, for ease, I'm going to number them in the order that they are listed on the ballot.

1. Veto powers to the County Mayor... Gives veto powers to the county mayor over the county commission, which may be overridden by the county commission by a two-thirds vote. The mayor will not be able to veto regulation of the county commission itself, zoning and planning or land use regulation.


2. Authorization of the county to continue to purchase environmentally sensitive land to protect it from development and damage. This continues an ongoing program to protect land that for various reasons is considered environmentally sensitive, either due to wildlife habitat, natural areas, water quality, and to protect sources of drinking water from damage and pollution.



As of October 29, 2008, I've disabled commenting on this blog post. I'm getting lots of comments, not all of them well thought out or polite (which have not been published), and I just don't feel like dealing with them showing up in my inbox anymore, if y'all don't mind. Thank you to those of you who have had thoughtful, helpful, polite comments. Please, do not try to send me comments on this post via another post which is open to commenting. Such comments will be deleted and not answered.

An interesting happening...

So I'm in the house at the moment to have lunch before finishing the mulching on the garden, which is now half done... A man just rang the door bell... dressed somewhat like a Mormon proselytizer so I hesitated to open the door, but did anyway... He's a reporter for The Saint Petersberg Times wanting to interview anyone who saw the big to-do this morning... My father is talking to him now... [pause to go get lunch from the kitchen] In the interim, there was another knock at the door... This time a tv reporter also wanting to interview someone on camera for the evening news on the local CBS station. Dad is talking to them too...

Now, what about? I'm sure you're wondering. A man who lived one house down and across the street was arrested this morning for (from what I can tell) bank robbery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft auto, fleeing the scene of a traffic accident and resisting arrest... possibly some other things too... O.O He got up early apparently, robbed a bank at gun point shortly after it opened, went to (of all random places and for reasons we don't know) a chiropractor's office, where he stabbed someone with a screw driver, then he stole a car, got in a traffic accident and then ran back to his house. This all went down early this morning, and we only caught the tail end of it ourselves. ('Cause he lived across the street! Now... we live on a very quiet, nice suburban neighborhood on a dead end street. Things like this just don't happen. o.O) When I woke up shortly before 9am, I thought one of our neighbors were mowing their lawn, but no, the noise I was hearing was the low-flying police helicopter hovering over our house. The guy had crashed the car he had stolen a few blocks away and ran on foot back to his home and they had tracked him down with bloodhounds (not kidding!). At 9am, police were facing off against him while he had barricaded himself in his house with an assault rifle (*facepalm*... Seriously, dude! WTF!). But within the hour, they arrested him without further injury to anyone involved... Thank goodness!

If there is video of the news report posted to the internet tonight, I'll embed it here if I can...

Now, I have to research some things quickly and get back outside to finish the mulching...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Giving Jared his presents...

I forgot to post the details of when I gave Jared the hats I made for him and Jensen. Don't know how I forgot to do that, but I did... Here's what I wrote out on Sunday evening so I wouldn't forget any of it:

I gave Jared the hats during the autograph session. They were running low on time for autographs because apparently the Eyecon organizers are still a bit unorganized when it comes to getting Jared's stuff efficiently timed and he was late for his flight back to Vancouver. So I didn't think I'd actually get to give the gifts to him. As he was signing my photo that I had bought for him to sign, I put the gift bag on the table near the EyeCon handler and said to her, "Can I leave this here for him?" and she nodded. I didn't expect Jared to speak because he was just so harried trying to get everyone's things signed and get out of there, but he looked up at me and said, "That's for me?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "You didn't have to get me anything," and I said, "Yes, I did, and I made what's in there." (Dude, it was all that would come out of my mouth, I had no control over my thought processes.) And he said, so sincerely, "Thank you, thank you so much." And handed me back the photo. OMFG there was eye contact throughout this little conversation and everything and I don't know how I was able to speak and not pass out or anything, but I managed somehow. I backed away from the table as he moved on to the next person, and I went outside and danced around for several minutes just going OMGOMGOMGOMG! 'cause I got to look at Jared's pretty face and eyes from two feet away for 30 seconds. GAH! Am I a fangirl? I think so. LOL! I was so elated and flipping out that I double checked twice to make sure that I actually got the picture back signed because I wasn't sure I actually took it with me 'cause I was just staring into his eyes as long as possible and that was all I was concentrating on. They looked more brown today than I remembered them being from April... thought they looked more green then. (Although I got to stare at them way longer this time.) Do they change color? I dunno... but that's what they seemed today to me. I've said it before though and I'll say it again, he's so flawless just thinking about how much makes me feel lightheaded. LOL!