Sunday, February 21, 2010


Spring is coming, slowly but surely. I think we're finally past the risk of frost. Maybe... I hope. If it does frost again after this point, it will be the latest it has done so in as long as I can remember, possibly longer.

I planted 160+ onions today in the new 6'x4' raised bed that I put together, so a pretty good day's work. The rest of the garden is coming along slowly. I'm going to need to get on that next weekend and have it done by the following weekend or I'll have to forget it. We've got such a short window to get things in the ground if we want them to be able to get a good harvest before it gets too hot for them to live, and it's closing rapidly.

In other news, I'm so not finishing all the things I wanted to do for the Ravelympics. I've frogged everything that I wanted to frog that's been hanging around for years, and I probably will finish the French Market Bag, but that's about all I'm expecting at this point. I might get something else started, but it won't be finished before the Ravelympics ends. Hmmm...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What they said...

So I didn't watch the Superbowl this year. I've watched it in the past for the game, or for the half-time show, or for the commercials, but this year, I just didn't feel like it. Plus, they had that anti-choice commercial and wouldn't air that other commercial for the gay dating site because that would be controversial.

I have seen some of the commercials since then, and the Dodge Charger commercial was stupid and sexist and freaking offensive. In response, this has been made...

And no, unlike the original commercial there is no consolation that "oh, but women put up with all these things, but at least we get to drive an awesome car at the end of the day" because that isn't true. Driving an awesome car, or anything else material, is not sufficient consolation for the serious bullshit we put up with on a daily basis. It just isn't. And to say otherwise would be a patronizing lie.

Also, I honestly do feel sorry for the kinds of men that would feel emasculated by the sorts of things mentioned in the original commercial.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ding, Dong, the NAIS is DEAD!!!

According to Downsize DC, the USDA is scraping the NAIS!!! I am so excited about this, I can't even tell you!

Details of why they decided to back down and what they plan on doing now is available here.

It's 7 pages and a lot of it is the same information repeated over and over again in response to different FAQs. Basically, here's the deal...

They're going to do another program, the Animal Disease Traceability Framework, but it is going to be very limited in its scope, while being very flexible in how people participate. The only animals to which the program will apply will be those involved in interstate commerce! Animals who remain within a single state will not need to be traced by the program. In addition, a uniform method identifying an animal is no longer required. In other words, no RFID tags for those who don't want them. Various methods of tagging will be recognized as valid, such as metal tags, branding, tattooing, etc.

The next thing they're going to do is meet with States and Tribal Nations to discuss what they'd like to see in the program and what the people they're representing want to see. Then this summer and fall, they're going to continue working to put together actual standards for tracing animals in interstate commerce with special attention to making it simple, efficient and easy for individuals with as little hassle as possible. They hope to have the new rules published by next winter and ready for a 90 public comment period at that time before final review and implementation. What all that means for interstate transportation of animals during the next year+, I can't say, but they aren't using NAIS any more.

I like the tone of this new program, at the very least, and their claim of transparency, straightforward honesty, and sensitivity toward the concerns of common citizens who own livestock animals. The USDA seems to have taken the criticism of the NAIS seriously. We'll see if they continue to follow through with that.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday randomness...

  • I'm entering the 2010 Ravelympics on I'm not quite sure how the medals are awarded, but I don't really care either. I'm entering the Aerial Unwind, Felting Freestyle, Hat Halfpipe, Lace Luge, Mitten Moguls, Short Track Shawls, Single Skein Speed Skate, SnowCross, Sock Hockey, Stash Compulsory Dance, and WIPs-Dancing - all with yarn I already have languishing in my possession. I hope to end the two weeks with lots of finished objects and a greatly reduced stash. Another good thing is that most of the projects are small and I am working every day for the duration, so - with luck and lack of busy lesson plans - I'll be able to do quite a lot of work while subbing.

  • OMG! My dad just came in with a package from Virginia. The mail man must have just left it at our front door. It's from a guy who owns a plant nursery up there and we bought a bunch of trees and plants from him to landscape part of the farm last summer. We're pretty neighborly with him and his wife, although they aren't really neighbors in the strictest sense of the word because they live quite a few miles away. We send them pink grapefruit from our tree every few months because we don't eat them and they love the stuff. Well, they just sent us a huge package of vegetable relish of some sort (can't really tell by looking and we haven't opened the jar yet), fresh pressed apple juice (!!! like in a big Mason jar!!! It's AMAZING!!!), dried apples, dried pears, dried summer squash slices, dried cantaloupe, dried pinto beans, and dried cayenne peppers! What an unexpected treat!!!

  • In other news: I'm preparing the garden beds for the Spring planting... We'll see how much of that I'll be able to get done before it will be too late to try to plant anything. We have volunteers from last year coming up all over the place... So far some sort of winter squash (too early to tell what), some parsley, a carrot (how that happened, idk because they didn't flower last year and it's obviously recent growth), lettuce and mustard greens. What I'll be planting is tbd, dependent on how late it's getting and how much time it will need before harvest compared to how long I plan on sticking around here after school lets out first week of June.

Friday, February 05, 2010

It's almost that time again...

I'm thinking of participating in Ravelympics 2010. I wasn't in Ravelry during the '08 Olympics, so this would be my first chance to compete. I have no idea what I'll do though.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Leonard Nimoy... is a photographer...

Who knew? 'Cuz I didn't. Idk where I've been, but this is news to me. Awesome news too! After looking for some of his work online, to see what it's like, I was pleasantly surprised and even... "awestruck" I think is the word.


I really love Mapplethorpe's work. I have since I was in high school taking photography classes. His work was very different than things I was interested in photographing (people and still lives in studios whereas I was far more interested in candids and landscapes in natural light), but I found them compelling nonetheless. Sometimes the subject matter is shocking, it's haunting, disturbing, and one doesn't want to look, but it's supposed to be, and that is one of the major purposes of art - to challenge the way people perceive aspects of the world. And one thing that certainly can't be denied about Mapplethorpe, he knew how to use light!

Leonard Nimoy's photography in this series is reminiscent in a lot of ways of Mapplethorpe's portraiture. The subject matter is controversial, and from the examples given at this website, I'd also say haunting, compelling, and provoking - and my God, that man can use light! GUH! And to be perfectly honest, it kinda makes me want to climb into Nimoy's head and live there for a while. No joke! I don't even care that he's well and truly old enough to be my grandfather.