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Mon, Feb. 25th, 2008, 07:05 pm

I found out today that FIL is quite taken with the mug I designed on Zazzle and had shipped directly to him. Apparently, the mug is "too nice" to drink coffee out of, so it will have a place of honor somewhere holding pencils and pens. Maybe this gets me out of having to buy him a shirt?

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008, 11:26 am
It just seems *wrong* to me

My father-in-law's birthday is coming up, and Bert suggested getting him a TV/VCR/DVD combo, so that he can watch all of the videotapes he has from some educational lecture series he has, and also for the few DVD's he and his wife have. Unfortunately, MIL positively shrieked "No! Nonono!" over the phone with Bert, so that idea is obviously a bust. She then suggested, via e-mail, that we should send FIL a short-sleeved shirt from big outdoorsy retailer. Is it just me, or is the idea of sending one's FIL a shirt somehow akin to sending him, I dunno, underwear? Granted, there are different levels of familiarity implied here, but, a shirt?

I offered to knit him a hat or a scarf once, but I was told he wouldn't wear it, and Bert is concerned that a few CD's of Theodore Bikel might never get a listen and/or a book by Paul Krugman might likewise sit unread. He did get a big kick out of a coffee mug I found one year, one with the caffeine molecule printed on it (FIL is a retired chemistry professor), and he likes another mug with the periodic table of the elements, but what on earth to send this year?

Any ideas for something useful for a semi-reclusive 80 year old who digs math, Shakespeare and diet soda? I'd like to send another coffee mug, one custom-printed with an image from the Library of Congress' Works Progress Administration archives, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to scale it for either Zazzle or CafePress.

Sun, Feb. 3rd, 2008, 08:28 am
Presidential Candidate Quiz

It's pretty much what I was expecting, at least on the Dem side. Interesting to note, however, that Fred Thomson and I are on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum, and Rudy is closer to my views than John. And yes, this quiz DID predict my chosen candidates, in order, in the top three. O and C, well, I'm as-yet undecided, and I wish there'd been a bigger % difference between the two. Not that it matters, or anything, as the race will be way over by the time my state has its primary.

88% Dennis Kucinich
86% Mike Gravel
81% John Edwards
80% Barack Obama
78% Hillary Clinton
78% Chris Dodd
78% Joe Biden
72% Bill Richardson
34% Rudy Giuliani
24% John McCain
20% Ron Paul
18% Mike Huckabee
16% Mitt Romney
15% Tom Tancredo
9% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Sun, Feb. 3rd, 2008, 07:10 am
Bloggers' Silent Poetry Reading Day (a day late)

Once again, I'm a day late to the party, but at least I'm wearing my pajamas, and in the spirit to celebrate Super International Pajama Day, which IS today. However, I thought it would be more fun for you (all three of you?) to see what I love in the world of poetry, rather than run screaming from the screen after seeing me in my 'jammies. (For the record, pink and turquoise cats on a pink background, short-sleeved top, from K-Mart's Pink K collection.)

The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Sat, Dec. 15th, 2007, 07:30 am
Charity knitting falls down, goes boom.

Although I am perhaps the very slowest knitter I know, and in general I'm a selfish and reclusive bee-yotch, this year I was inspired by Norma, of NowNormaKnits, to try to knit up some mittens for underprivileged kids in Oklahoma, via the Soaring Eagles project. Last year, I sewed up some polarfleece hats for Soaring Eagles, but those worked up fairly quickly and it didn't feel like too terribly much of a contribution. This year, since Rachel, the leader of Soaring Eagles, specifically wanted mittens and socks/slippers, and I don't trust my limited sewing skills to make anything fancy (yes, I think of simple mittens as fancy -- there's elastic at the cuff, right?), I promised to make two pairs of mittens and would try my best to knit up a third pair as a bonus.

The problem was, I have never knitted mittens before in.my.life. So, you can probably see where this is going. I knitted up the first mitten, and started in on a matching mitt, when I discovered that a) the second mitt DID NOT MATCH; and b) the first mitt was ug-lee. Like, uglier than Ann Coulter's soul, but I digress. All I could do was to complete the second, better mitten, then cut the top off the first mitten, pick up stitches near the cuff, and knit back up. For the second, smaller pair, I got the idea in my head to do some different color patterning (black cuff, pink hand/thumb, black tip), but then I didn't like the looks of *that* mitten either. More cutting, ripping back, picking up stitches and then soldiering on.

Finally, after much swearing and perhaps an ugly cry or a big bowl of ice cream or something therapeutic, I had my initial two pairs of mittens DONE. Yay! I tried for a third pair, in the colors of my mom's alma mater (Go crimson! Go, gray! Go, Wazzoo [WSU, Pullman WA, "Cougars"]), but I just ran out of steam after knitting exclusively on mittens for a solid week and feeling my self-imposed deadline pressing down on me. Now I have one thumb-less mitten possibly fit for a large child's hand which could either be completed one of these days and possibly even have a mate, OR ripped back to just-before-the-tip and made into a fingerless mitt for me.

The "fall down, go boom" part of the charity knitting comes, again, via Norma, who posted today that it looks like Rachel's goal will not be met and many deserving kids won't have much of anything hand-knitted for the holidays this year. I *think* I recall Rachel posting somewhere that she had extra hats and scarves from last year's overwhelming response, so every kid will get at least something this year, but maybe I'm delusional. I just hate the thought that Rachel worked so hard to organize this specific charity drive, and Norma and other knitbloggers I love to read worked to publicize it, but the kids will be left wanting this season. I'm reminded of the motto for the Buffalo-Niagara Catholic Church, "The drive that never fails," where every year they'd appeal for funds to support retired clergypeople. I wish that the Soaring Eagles project could boast that same motto, but now that things are looking grim, my heart is heavy and my gut is in knots. Sure, I did my (very minor) part and sent two pairs of mittens, but I'm left feeling as if I should have done more, even if, realistically, I did everything I could with the time I was able to give for the project. The deadline is Monday, and I can't do anything now except grump over what feels like failure, but perhaps I can do more, and start earlier, next year.

Wed, Nov. 28th, 2007, 10:04 am
Pay It Forward --I'm participating!

Dear all -- yes, the three of you who irregularly read my blog. I have signed on to a meme circulating around the blogosphere, and it goes something like this:

The idea of the exchange is I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on this blog post requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So if you would like to participate in the Pay it Forward and have your very own gift handmade by me - let me know in the comments.

My own additional caveat: I will try my best to match my "handmade gift" to the specific interests you've articulated on your blog or, if we know each other in the real, bedrock and mud world, some conversation you and I have had about, well, something. It might be hand knitted, hand dyed, sewn, or perhaps written, but it will be something I think you'd enjoy, and something which I can make. (Probably nothing cooked/baked -- I don't want to give anyone food poisoning!)

So, sign on at your peril leisure, and pay it forward!

Mon, Sep. 24th, 2007, 08:21 pm
Recipie for a vatergrrl

Gacked from purlewe:


- a teaspoon of honesty
- 1/2 a cup of humor
- a gallon of trustworthiness

Season and serve.
'What is your personality recipe?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Thu, Jul. 12th, 2007, 08:39 am
I don't quite get it...

According to mingle2.com, my LJ is rated at:
Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

They base their findings on the use of the following words (and frequencies):
hell (6x); pain (5x); bitch (2x); gun (1x)
I would swear, though, that I have heard those words, and far worse, used in a dull PG movie. And, no, I'm not talking "PG-13," that wonky rating which came into vogue after I could get into R movies without being carded (ahem). Obviously, their standards for "mature audience" must fall squarely along: "This blog is a better soporific than Rozerem and Lunesta, perfect for insomniacs everywhere!" or suitable for your great Aunt Frannie, who was probably quite a naughty wit in her own time.

Sat, Jun. 30th, 2007, 09:13 am
One wee question to my f-list

So, dear friends list, and random assorted readers in search of your soporific fix, here's the Q:
Would it be classy and appropriate to wear an "Idaho? No, YOU da ho!" tee to go visit my 72 y.o. father, who lives in the land of potatos, the Snake River, and an amazingly fancy Mormon temple? And, for the record, my father also tried to convert his NRA chapter to socialism, proudly excommunicated himself from The Church (LDS), and called our now-passed calico cat a "nasty old chippie" but cried when he had to have her put to sleep.

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