Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday's Knitting

So what am I up to this week? Another pair of Child's First Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks.

2008 047

Isn't it pretty? The yarn is from the Yarn Pirate Sock Club and is called Kalamata. Brown's and purple's and green's. I love it! The way the colorway is spiraling around the sock is great, the feel of the yarn is amazing. Buy her yarn! You won't regret it. I have three other skeins and I want to use them all now!

I knit a pair of these for a swap pal. Next week for my Friday Finish, I will put up a photo of the box and goodies I sent her. Personally, I would love to get a box like this myself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tired Tuesday

I'm to tired too do a tirade this week. Because, if I did a tirade, it would have to be about politics or the economy, and my poor brain is too tired for that.

I will state for the record that I think the Fed will drop the rate by half a point. If not, Bernanke will be in a world of hurt. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, how lucky you are. This is part and parcel to my line of work, and all I can say is that I need Tums when I read the business and real estate reports. I thought it was bad back in 1990-1991. This will probably be worse.

See you tomorrow.....

Monday, January 28, 2008


Two years ago on the 26th, my furry shadow went to her final rest. I like to think that she's with my Dad, following him around instead.

Me & Boo

I miss you, Boo.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Quotes

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Douglas Adams

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Out and About

I had a busy Saturday. I usually don't get up very early. I try to take advantage of one of the few days of the week I can sleep in. Today, though, I had to get car stuff done.

Went and got my tires balanced and rotated. I bought them in December 2006, and I just rolled over 6,000 miles week before last. I try to average every two oil changes. This was the least amount of miles I have driven in a year. Very surprising.

Next stop was the oil change. I had a bit of fun there, since at least two of the guys weren't as old as my car. I heard one of them exclaim, "man, this is old school!" Yes, carburetors and distributors caps would be considered old school.

Last car stop today was for a new battery. I haven't purchased one in 10 years, so it was time. I took the car to Sears, since the Die Hard in it has done so well. This was the longest stop, since they were pretty busy. I walked the mall and bought some rain boots and a few other little things.

When I was done with this, I picked Kevin up for lunch and we went to look at mattresses. The bed in old, very old. I can't stand it anymore. So, we saved a bit and throw in his company Christmas bonus, and we are going to buy something softer to sleep on. We didn't find one we liked today, but hopefully soon.

Round out the day with a stop at Target and the grocery store, and you've got a full day.

Tomorrow, I am not leaving the house!

Friday, January 25, 2008

FOF (Finished Object Friday)

Last September, I made a felted handbag. I thought it was a bit plain, so I did some surface embroidery and beading. I am very pleased with the results. I want to line it, but I know that won't happen anytime soon.

May I re-present the Lavender Haze Bag....

Lavender Haze Embellished

I have all these different ideas running through my head for different types of bags I want to do. I have found all these wonderful beads and trinkets that will look amazing. I wish there were more hours in the day - or that we win the lotto!

Ok - now for things I finished this week.

Last Sunday, I spent the day watching football. The NFC and AFC championship games are usually better than the Superbowl, and this time was no exception. I had enough time to finish a cowl.

Seasise Fishbone Lace Cowl

It's called a Fishbone Lace Cowl. Here is some more detail to the pattern:

Seaside Fishbone Lace Cowl

It's from a book called Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea. I got the book when I was in Solvang last summer, and the yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb. The colorway is Seaside. Oh my, this is so soft! I really like the way it turned out. I have four skeins of Lorna's Laces sock weight in this colorway, and I planned a pair of socks and mittens to go with.

The other thing I finished this week was from One-Skein Wonders, called One-Skein Scarf.

One Skein Scarf

The yarn is Vergnasco Teseo I bought it at the Yarn Connection in Idaho Falls back in 2006 when we were visiting for Thanksgiving. I also bought sock yarn to match these colors, as well as some mohair blend for a hat and mittens. That was my "matching accessories" stage. I've gotten better. It took two skeins, since the pattern called for about 200 yards, and these were 98 yds each. I made this over two nights.

I have a pair of socks that I will probably have done before Wednesday. I would like to cast on some lace, but will probably cast on another pair of socks.

Until next time.....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning

You know, sometimes the day can start out pretty nice.....

Sunrise over Diablo

Sunrises - one of my favorite things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

20 years ago today

I have a tendency to hang on to things. Goodwill has been quite the beneficiary of late due to this habit. However, there is one thing I do not regret buying, as it has been an integral part of my life all these years.

Me & Blue 1988

Me and Blue, when we were young and full of ourselves. When I first bought her (yes, it's a "her"), there was no such thing as an SUV. It was rated a commercial truck and I had to pay weight fees. I found I loved off-roading, and she's seen her share of mud. This was back in the day when a 4x4 AND a stick shift might be too much for a girl to handle. Well, it was handled very well.

I've driven through urban floods.

I've towed a Cadillac out of Monument Valley.

I've been on the fire roads in the hills above Monterey.

We went face to face with a Buffalo in Yellowstone Valley. The Buffalo was almost as tall as the car.

I've been to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

I've spun out in a down pour on an oil slick off ramp.

I've gone ice skating on black ice in a snow storm.

I've had two blowouts - driver side rear tire in 1992, passenger side rear tire 2006. Both on Interstate 5 going home to Northern California.

I brought my precious girl, Heidi, home in this car. I took her and Fen to their final rest in it as well.

I brought my Dad home after hip replacement surgery. He had an easier time stepping up into the car as opposed to sitting down in his.

I moved all my stuff from South to North, either towing a trailer or filling her to the brim (she can hold a lot).

I have had 2 speeding tickets - 1990 going downhill on I40 on the Navajo Reservation, 1993 on the I5 going home. My top speed has been 90 - and that was quite a few years ago.

I have been rear-ended 6 times - 5 women, 1 man, all sedans, all had damage to their hoods or grills. A trailer hitch can do a lot of damage.

I have hit no one. I did hit a brick post. Parked in that same space for over 2 years and one day I came at it too fast and took a bad bump off the rain water diverter. Had to remove the end cap from the bumper because I couldn't turn the front tire to the left. That happened in 2005.

She has no air conditioning. Didn't need it living in Orange County. Can't say the same for Diablo Valley.

I can still remember the days when I could come out of a store and see the top above all the other cars. Haven't been able to do that for years.

She still has the tightest turning radius of any car I have driven.

There is nothing like taking her down Lombard Street. It feels like you are going to fall out the front window. Scares the crap out of anyone sitting in the front seat!

I guess it just comes down to all that I have seen and done, all the places I have been, all the experiences I have had from the seat of that vehicle. And when people see her, they know it's me, because she is one of a kind. We're one of a kind. I love my Blue. The joke around here is that I'll probably be buried in her!

Happy Anniversary, Blue!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

The beginning and the end of the work day

It has been cold and a little rainy. You know it's really cold when we get snow on Mt. Diablo.

Sunrise over Mt. Diablo

Sunrise over Diablo. Not a bad way to start my work day. I took this from the bus plaza at North Concord BART. It was pretty quiet here today. A lot of people got the holiday off. But if I want to get paid, I have to go to work. The wonderful life of an independent contractor.

Now, on my way home, it's a different story.


At the end of the work day, I make my way to BART. This is what I see while I am waiting for the train. I'm sorry - shouldn't this be called First Blood or something? Is this midlife crisis, part 2? I feel like I should have big hair, big shirt, big belt, leggings, major makeup and elf boots. Why on earth, at the age of 58, would he decide to do another Rambo movie? Two generations have been born since the first one came out. When I first saw the poster , I figured someone else was picking up the franchise. Nope. The trailer hasn't been in broad release. He certainly isn't the Italian Stallion anymore. Ugh, that took to me to place I didn't want to go. Visions of Ron Jeremy just popped into my head. Bad ju-ju, very, very bad.

Now Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones or Bruce Willis in Die Hard, that's a different story. Oh, that's better. I have the Indiana Jones theme running through my head now. Take that, Ron Jeremy! Yippee-ki-yay............

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Ready For Some Playoffs

I was hoping for one good game, and I wasn't disappointed. I expected Green Bay to play better, and I certainly didn't think that Favre would throw that many interceptions. I wanted to see Green Bay back in the Super Bowl. Instead, I get to see the other Manning going up against Brady in SB LXII.

I just hope it's not a blow out.

I was productive today. We made guacamole and queso to enjoy for the early game. I knitted a cowl. Packaged up three bags of clothes to go to charity and I did three loads of laundry. In other words, a typical winter Sunday.

Back to work tomorrow. No break for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Evening In Berkeley

There are those rare occasions that we venture out from out humble squalor and actually interact with other humans socially. It's rare, but it happens. In this instance, it was my husband's co-workers and we went to Berkeley for dinner and a lecture (not the boring kind).

Dinner was at the Pyramid Brewery. I have never been, which is funny, because I love micro-brews and there is a Pyramid Brewery in Walnut Creek as well. I worked in downtown Walnut Creek for over 5 years, and the Brewery was less than 5 minutes from my office. Not a lot of good excuses for this one.

Pyramid Brewery - The Tanks

I wonder if they give tours? I requested the tasters, and there were 5. A nice range, from malty to hoppy, light to full bodied. I liked the Hefe Weizen best. I usually lean towards the dark beers, but this just had a nice, complex palate. I'd like to go back - and I only have to go to Walnut Creek to do that!

Ok, the main point of the evening. We went to Zellerbach Hall, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley (commonly referred to as "Cal") and enjoyed this:

Visit their site at Discovery Channel.

Our view of them was this:

The Mythbusters - Jamie and Adam

It was still fun, though. We got to see some video that Discovery said was not appropriate for airing (it was about farting). I learned some new things about the show, and the guys. Jamie has a degree in Russian Studies and was a charter boat captain. Adam did not graduate from college, and worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic - the Holy Grail to all Star Wars and tech geeks). Their experiences were very interesting and they took a lot of questions from the audience, mostly kids.

It was a great evening. On a way home we stopped for Ben & Jerry's. That just about made it perfect.

Friday, January 18, 2008

FO Friday

I almost thought I wouldn't have anything for today. Hah! I actually managed to cause the pad of my right index finer to split from the velocity of my knitting. So here we go:

Clapotis - Finished!

All done! The Clap is done! I found that dropping the stitches with cotton yarn is so easy - just press the back of nail and run it down the ladder with some force and the loops just pop. 800 yards of nearly 20 year old stash gone! Worth noting, the skeins had their price tags on them, from the clearance bin. This shawl cost me $11.52, a $1.44 per skein!

Particulars - Under Classic Cable Printed, US 7 needles, Clapotis pattern care of

I also finished yet another washcloth:

My So Called Dishcloth #4

Based on the pattern, My So Called Scarf, I did another washcloth. Sugar'n Cream in the colorway Beach Ball Blue on size US 7 needles. The colors didn't pool as great as before, but I cast on another while I was on the train today and we'll see how that goes.

Now what else can I finished before next Friday. Damn, unwanted pressure. I'll figure something out.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Favorite Things

Pin collecting.

Yes, I collect pins.

I am a Disney Pin Collector, lanyard and all. I bought my first pin case at Disney MGM (now know as Disney Studios) in Florida when we were there in 2002. It is very heavy now, and very full. I like to collect cast member pins, and other limited edition releases. My first pins from Disneyland were two plastic pins of Mickey and Donald. I got them when I was a kid. I still have them. The first metal pin I have is from the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. They sure made them different in those days. And I do enjoy trading with cast members at the parks. It is an enjoyable part of the experience for me.

I am a Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collector, no lanyard, no trading. I picked up my first pin at the San Francisco Hard Rock back in 1991, when I enjoyed my first cold, foggy visit to SF. I consider it my "home" Cafe, though I liked the old one on Van Ness much better than the one on Pier 39. I am an original member of the Pin Collectors Club, and received my 7 year anniversary pin last summer. I believe I have been to 13 cafes now, and have pins from many more. Friends and family bring me a pin from their trips, and they have been to interesting places. It's a wonderful collection. They are displayed in shadow boxes. I use HRC t-shirts as the backdrop.

I have a decent collection of Olympic pins, especially those related to our recent games here in the US, and in Norway. I will be honest, I enjoy the winter games much more than the summer games. What I don't like is the "highlight" coverage that only emphasizes the US victories. I would like to see coverage of all the medal winners. The games are supposed to be a display of friendly competition, a coming together of nations in the name of sport. It's just a pity we can't appreciate the efforts and skill of all the athletes.

I also collect pins from places I have been, such as state and national parks, wineries, historical landmarks, and any other place that struck a chord with me.

Do yo think I may have a lot of pins? Hmm, maybe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's On My Needles Wednesday

The Clap - 1/16/08 Progress

This week, it's one big Clapotis. I made a pretty good run at it last week, and by Saturday realized that I would not have enough yarn to finish. Frogged the whole thing and started over. I've made some adjustments to the pattern, and am tracking the usage very carefully.

I don't know why I am so obsessed with this. The yarn is from stash I found in storage that I know was purchased before my move to No Cal in 1991. I think I started something else with this, frogged it and put it in a bag. I am making some great progress, obviously.

This has been pretty much all I have worked on this week. I started another hat, worked on some swap socks (NOT a commuter project) and put a couple of rows on my chevron scarf.

I guess that's it for this week. Maybe I'll have this done by Friday. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A little tirade for Tuesday....

.... 'cause I am too tired and it's been a long day.

I grew up in Southern California. I spent a lot of time in LA - I was born in LA. One of my favorite places was Westwood, with West LA in general being a great place to hang out. Every once in a while I'd head over to Beverly Hills, have a bite to eat at Nate & Al's. If I didn't want to deal with that crowd, I'd head over to Cantor's. That's what the Bay Area needs - a good Jewish deli. The thought of bagel and lox, with a little cup of chicken noodle soup, just makes me salivate.

I digress.

bumped into me in When I roamed these streets, it was not unusual to see "famous" people. David HAsselhoffWestwood one night, and told me to watch where I'm going (he's like 6'3", I'm 5'6" - and there's a reason "ass" is part of his last name). Aresnio Hall spilled coffee on me - and was very sweet and very apologetic. Arnold Schwarzenegger banked at my bank and I saw him depositing his studio checks (my ex worked as a teller while attending UCLA). I saw Ophra and Gail on a bad, bad hair and attire day. It was not uncommon to see the faces on the big screen going about their business being normal human beings - eating, shopping, spending time with friends. There was one thing that wasn't there - the paparazzi.

15, 20 years ago, those that made a living in the television and movie industries could expect some semblance of normalcy in their daily lives. If they were at an "event", that was a different story. Something very ugly is happening in my home town, and it's getting worse day by day.

Let's take yesterday for example.

LA is also the home of the helicopter traffic reporter/car chase commentator. If you see a car chase on TV, 9 times out of 10 it will be somewhere in the Basin. It's just a fact. It is a spectator sport, and we've made it into an art form. KCAL, local channel 5, was usually the source of our need for potential speed. At least that's how I remember it. Honestly, our most notorious car chase was the crawl chase of OJ. I still remember where we were - husband and I were out for a midweek dinner and we decided to go to the Outback because I needed a steak. We saw the car chase and knew it had to be LA. When the news feed popped on, we saw what it was about. Not that it surprised us, but as two people who had lived in SoCal long enough to become trained sheep, we were transfixed. We couldn't look away. We sat in the bar, watched TV and ate dinner. Baaaaaaaaa.

So yesterday there was another helicopter following another SUV along the streets of LA. This time the SUV was black, the passenger of interest was a white woman. A very sad, in much need of medical help, pathetic excuse for a mother, hugely famous, young woman. KCAL was reporting.

Out society is rapidly going down the crapper, and our media spends h-o-u-r-s reporting and recounting every detail of her existence. It's like a play-by-play of the most pathetic game in the world. We are watching someone self destruct. This isn't news - and it isn't entertainment. It's just wrong.

Humanity has to evolve - we have done this for millenia. But to me it seems we are de-evolving. I encourage all of you to take a personal pledge to improve our society. Don't go to Don't buy the National Enquirer. If it's media and pertains to the perpetuating of gossip, don't participate, don't watch, turn it off.

There are some people who do their work in a much more visible setting than we do ours. The thing is, they are still people. I can't imagine having every step blocked by a man shoving a camera or recorder in my face. What a horrible way to live. Is it right to have someone camped in front of your house, waiting for you to take out the garbage in your pj's? Or having lunch with a friend? Or taking your daughter to the airport? What gives any of those stalkers the right to involve the children?

It's just not right.

Monday, January 14, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Some people may think this is a little silly, but I like accomplishing firsts. For instance, I tried Corn Nuts for the first time just a couple of years ago. For once, my husband was a little surprised.

I moved to the Bay Area in October 1991. It took a few years for me to try BART (our commuter train). I haven't been on a ferry here, but I have been on a Bay Cruise. Today, I tried MUNI, San Francisco's light rail system, and to me, very similar to the subway trains found on the East Coast.

Having grown up in a place really devoid of public transportation - in the OC - you just didn't take the bus except to go to the beach - getting used to these various modes of conveyance is just strange. But, since I work in the City now, I have to get used to these things.

One more thing off my "have to try" list....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Memorable Quote's

Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

- Vince Lombardi

Update for Saturday

Weekends are always pretty busy for us. Yesterday was no exception.

I drive an old car. In fact, I will have owned it 20 years on the 23rd of the this month. The problem with owning an old car is parts. So, last year I was able to acquire a car that was pretty much a match to mine - it came off the line in October 1987 and my original car came off in July 1987. If it weren't for the after market work mine had, you would be hard pressed to tell them apart.

I refer to mine old car as the "old girl" or "old blue". Like me, she creaks a bit more than she used to and she's not as pretty as she used to be, but with a little work she'd be great. The "new" car is referred to as Debi. There's a slightly sick joke behind that one, but at least it's a quicker way to point one of them out. Anyway, Debi had to go away because the city said so.

Our lovely little town said that since she wasn't running, she had to be removed from public view. Our only way to remedy this was to move her to storage. That's what we did yesterday. We also moved a bunch of stuff from our old storage unit to the new one. We had a nice lunch at Claim Jumper. We went shopping after we were done, and to give our backs a break. When we got home, I steamed some crab and we had a nice dinner with some reserve beer we picked up in Fortuna last summer. By the time I got around to thinking about posting, it was Sunday morning.

We had a full day. We are about to head out again, hopefully to move the last of the stuff from storage. We have some more shopping that needs to be done. If all works out, we should be home early enough so that I can actually post for Sunday.

Oh - I did make time to watch some football yesterday. Even though I am a Vikings fan, and I really should detest the Green Bay Packers, I do love Brett Favre and hope they go back to the Superbowl this year. OMG what a beautiful game yesterday! I love it when the weather becomes part of the game plan. I'm hoping the Giants win today. I would love to see another great game in Green Bay!

Friday, January 11, 2008

FOF (Finished Object Friday)

At first I thought that I wouldn't have that much to bring up, but I forgot about the washcloths!

First - socks:

Simple Socks

Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal Jacquard
Colorway: Petticoat
Pattern: Basic Sock Pattern
Needles: US1

Aren't they pretty? And I got the stripes to match!!! I love it when things work out the way they are supposed to.

Here are the washcloths - all adapted from the My So Called Scarf pattern:

My So Called Washcloth
Yarn: Sugar'n Cream
Colorway: Summer Splash
Needles: 10.5US

My So Called washcloth #2
Yarn: Sugar'n Cream
Colorway: Violet Veil
Needles: 10.5US

My So Called Dishcloth #3
Yarn: Peaches & Creme
Colorway: Lemon-Lime
Needles: 10.5US

Same weight yarn, same needles, three different sizes. Go figure. I like the 1st and 3rd ones best.

That's it for today. See ya!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things.......

Yes, I am one of those wretched people that love The Sound of Music. I have been contemplating what to write, and I have decided I need themes for the days of the week.

Monday will be Memorable Moments
Tuesday will become Tirade Tuesday.
Wednesday will be What's On My Needles
Thursday will be These are a few of my favorite things.
Friday will be Finished Objects

I'm still not sure about the weekend. Sloth Sunday? Sleeping in Saturday? Should be doing something constructive S_____? I just don't know.

So, it's Thursday. Here is a favorite thing:

dc can

In 1982, my life changed forever. There was a cola product on the market that didn't taste like a bad of sugar. You see, I don't have a sweet tooth. Yes, I like to have something sweet, but it is not a "need". I went over a year without consuming any processed sugar. I survived. I could not live without my Diet Coke. Nectar of the Gods. My longest vice.

Check back tomorrow for another thrilling entry in Solslett's 365 Blog.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What's On My Needles Wednesday

I thought I would have time to take a picture of my new project, but that didn't happen. Hopefully it won't be finished by next week so I have something fun to show off. I am making another Clapotis. I made one a year ago with fingering weight. This time I am trying a sport weight cotton. We'll see how it goes.

I cast on a Chevron Scarf (Last Minute Knitted Gifts) last November and when it got too long to work on when I'm on the train, it was vanquished to the pile next to the couch. I pulled it out when we were traveling to So Cal over the holidays and made some major progress. I picked it up again a couple of days ago.

Chevron Scarf WIP

It may not look like it, but it's 55" long at this point. I have about 20" to go! Woot! I am using Koigu KPM and KPPPM. For some reason, I didn't think it would be so pink. I'm not a "pink" girl, but it looks pretty.

That's it for today. I have no idea what I'm going to post tomorrow. This 365 commitment is going to be a bit of a challenge. Quite simply, my life isn't that interesting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thoughts for a Tuesday

The New Hampshire Primary was today. Ours is on Super Tuesday, a month from now. If I understood correctly, they had a record turn out for the Democrats in NH, about 280,000. A record turn out. The population of NH in 2005 was 1.3M. Between the parties, about 40% came out to vote. It's just sad.

I love politics. I watch about 3 hours of cable news a day and listen to several news related podcasts. Election years are awesome! But this year things have changed for me.

When I turned 18, I registered to vote. The first time I was able to cast a ballot, I did it for Mondale. I was raised in a Union house, and Democratic party was the closest thing to a Labor party. My immigrant, naturalized father and I voted together every election, every primary, every time there was a reason to perform our civic duty. We did it together until 1992, when I had moved to Northern California. I never thought that I would ever vote anything other the Democratic ticket.

Yeah, well. I'm not feelin' it anymore.

I have reached out to Representative George Miller three separate times these past few months. Has he acknowledged the messages and emails that I have left him? No. I have contacted Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi and Reid. Nothing. On the top of my list is the immigration issue. My parents immigrated to this country legally. My mother HAD TO - HAD NO CHOICE but to learn to speak English. Ours was not a bilingual home until I was almost 8 years old, because my father didn't want me to speak MY native language with an accent.

This country came to greatness because of the sacrifices of immigrants. The African-Americans and Chinese suffered greatly at the hands of our Government, but they helped to build the foundation of our infrastructure and economy. Those that immigrated from Europe to seek a better life fueled the economy, even as they became factory workers, farmers, and small business owners. We opened our hearts and homes to those that have suffered from war, political persecution, and disaster. Even those that were brought here against their will became the fabric and backbone of our society. These immigrants created the American culture - the melting pot of humanity.

It used to be an honor to be granted a Visa to come live in this country. People were thankful that they were given the opportunity. They filed the paperwork and paid the fees. I have a friend from Vietnam. It took 14 years for her family to be united here in the US. They all have their citizenship. I grew up next to a family from the Philippines. The Father was a Doctor, the Mother was a Engineering Professor. He worked for a medical supply company, she worked as a CNA. It took them 10 years to bring their 6 children over. Each of their kids went to college and went into the medical professions - nurses, a pharmacist and a radiologist.

I believe in immigration - it is an integral part of our national identity. But, seriously, why should we make millions of exceptions? My ex's Social Security number was used by three illegal aliens in three different states over a 5 year period. He repeatedly had to deal with the IRS over "unreported" income. Here's the kicker - he had immigrated to the US himself. He had a green card! When he applied for citizenship, he had another set of problems because his number had been used illegally. When some politicians say it is a victimless crime, that they are here doing the jobs Americans won't do, I have just one questions to ask. How many laws and how many people have to be negatively impacted before you see that this is a problem?

Sorry - I am not bashing any minority in this virtual diatribe. Our problem is not just from the Southern border. We have thousands who overstay visa's, and nothing happens to them. We have people arriving by plane from Eastern Europe and Asia that disappear into the crowd. If I want to travel between two cities in the US, a have to trudge barefoot or on stockinged feet through the metal detector and hope that they don't confiscate my knitting needles as potential weapons or swab all of the contents of my backpack for bomb making material (that is a story for another day).

I just want my government to work for the best interest of its' electorate. They haven't even tried for years to show that they care more about us than their re-election. But last summer, I was done. I couldn't even count on the Democrats, the party that has been supported by Labor, by Unions, to protect and support our livelihoods and well being. They won't stand up against a President that has taken us down the path of destruction for fear of being called unpatriotic or accused of cutting and running? Why they hell did we elect them if they weren't prepared to do something that made them uncomfortable but was the right thing to do for the country? Grow a damn backbone and stop taking money from special interests and tell Big Business to quit whining and do their part to support OUR economy for a change.

Will the world come to an end if we tell China we don't want to be poisoned anymore? Will it end if we tell Mexico that we will aggressively move against the drug lords and drug runners, and shut down the border if they don't take decisive action? Will it end if we tell the drug companies that we are lifting import restrictions on pharmaceuticals that meet FDA safety requirements? Will it end if we embrace the Kyoto Protocol and actively work towards reducing green house gases and our need for foreign oil? Hmm, let me think.........NO!

I re-registered as Undeclared. I was thankful that my Dad wasn't here to see this. But as disappointed as I have been, I know it would have been far worse for him. He would have seen it as a betrayal by the party he supported since arriving on these shores.

I guess in my own, pathetic way, I just want people to do the right thing and follow the laws of the land and do what is best to insure our future viability. Isn't that the decent thing to do? The right thing to do? The American thing to do?

Monday, January 07, 2008


Sunset in the Central Valley - Feb 05

This was taken back in Feb 2005, along Interstate 5, somewhere between Lost Hills and Santa Nella.

It's on these rare occasions that I don't mind all the hours I've spent on the 5.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

We miss you

This was supposed to be my original post for today. I debated whether or not I should still add it. I guess I made up my mind.

On January 6, 1995, a little bundle of furry joy was born. We brought him home in February and this is what he looked like then:

Baby Fen 1995

It took a little coaxing, mainly a rawhide, to bring him in from the rain on the day this picture was taken. We had named him Fenre, after Fenris Wolf from the Norse tales. He was very cute, and that's what saved his tail most of the time.

K&F 032203

We had expected him to grow to a decent size, but when he topped 75 lbs, well, just imagine what that feels like in your lap. He was a cuddler from the beginning. His favorite spot was in front of the couch with some part of his body touching yours - usually his head on a foot. This picture was taken in March 2003. A year later he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He crossed the rainbow bridge on June 8, 2004.

It may sound strange, but every once in a while at night I hear him walking around the house. He was always "puppy on patrol", always our Fearless Fen, my living-breathing teddy bear.

We miss you, Fenny. I hope you're nice and cool and chasing squirrels to your hearts content.

Busy Weekend

Our City government has been causing me problems. I have a car that isn't running. It's registered with the State, is in good shape and sits in my driveway. Not good enough. Since the tags are expired, it can't be in public view. It has to go.

They suggested I place it in the garage. We don't have one. They suggested that I put it in the backyard. That would mean dismantling the fence, removing a tree and a planter box. Not a viable option - since they gave me 10 days, which included the New Year's holiday. We're putting it in storage.

We've had a storage unit for a few years. We have collectibles and such (read: comic books, books and action figures) that were taking up a lot of room and collecting dust. Since we don't have a garage, we got a unit. I haven't been happy with the company for sometime now. 3 rent increases in one year is stupid, especially since none of the services or amenities have changed. So we're moving our stuff from one place to another and sorting through everything. Goodwill has benefited greatly since we are divesting ourselves of clothes and household goods that we know we have little hope of using in the future. We have also given away electronics and linens, because, quite honestly, we were quite overdue when it comes to a good purge.

I need to move the car at the end of this week. Once it's in the space, moving boxes and tubs around will be challenge, but we're also paying for two units right now. Yesterday we were lucky that while we were loading and unloading, the rain stopped. We had lost power at home several times and Internet access had been spotty. It was a good day to get some stuff done.

So, we're a little over half way finished with the move.

I'm also trying to get the house back in order after the holidays. I have a bunch of stuff I need to load onto eBay and I need to finish inputting 2007 into Quicken so I can get the taxes started. I wish I didn't need sleep.

Since I couldn't post yesterday, this will have to serve for both days this weekend. I leave you with a peaceful picture from one of our trips last year.

St. George Light

Off in the distance is the St. George Reef Lighthouse as seen from the Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City. The lighthouse is 6 miles off the coast from Crescent City. Luckily for me, it was a very clear, windy day.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Feeling a little soggy/ FO Friday

The storm is here. We lost the power at home yesterday afternoon, and it really wasn't that severe at that point. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the weekend.

It has been pouring since early this morning. It took for-e-ver to get into the City this morning on BART (the commuter train). They usually run 10 car trains for the morning commute, but I got lucky and got a 5 car train that was running storm slow and packed like a sardine can. The true fun was coming, though.

I heard on the radio this morning that the rain was really coming down in San Francisco - hurricane force winds were expected. It is a 4 1/2 block walk to my office from the BART station.

Just a little wet

I actually went into the restroom when I got to work and wrung out the hems of my pants. The light stops are dry. The next one is more telling.

Indoor puddles

This is a puddle created by my tote bag. There was water inside the bag too, that I poured out. Luckily, the extra pair of socks I brought were in a pocket, and remained dry. The rain is coming down much harder now. Hopefully it eases up by the time I leave to go home.

At least it isn't snow.

Off to nicer topics. I have finished objects to show off.

One Ribbed Cap

My first FO of the year. I started the cap on New Year's Eve and finished it New Year's Day. I wanted my first finished object of the year to be a charity item - start the year with some good karma. It was made with Rowan's Wool Cotton, knit on size 5US needles and required nearly two full skeins. It has a nice feel to it, and should be very nice to wear. I have 4 more oddball skeins and the colors mix and match well enough to make two more hats.

My So Called Scarf

A quick finish. I showed this off on Wednesday, and here it is finished. I used 3 skeins of Baruffa Merinos Otto Shadow and it's just long enough to wrap around and tuck. I folded it in half, so you're seeing only half the length in the photo. I wish I had more of it. The pattern is My So Called Scarf and I used Size 11US needles.

I think it may have stopped raining. Will I make it to the corner store and back before it starts again? Probably not. A Diet Coke would be just a thing to keep me going for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Storms' a-comin'

Storms' a-comin'

As I was walking to work today, I was looking around to try to catch something interesting to take a picture of. I work in the Mission District of San Francisco, so it isn't the typical "tourist" scenes you would see in travel shows and magazines. This part of town is reflective of the immigrant population, poverty, the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised. You see the every day things - parents rushing their children to school; people running to catch the bus; shoppers and workers entering and exiting the underground BART train station.

As I walk to my office, I pass a food bank. About 30 people were waiting outside to pick up a few bags of groceries that I saw this morning included a large bag of oranges. I also passed a man sleeping on the street, his bed an assortment of comforters, his breakfast consisting of mayonnaise and bagels. I feel a small twinge of guilt as I pass him by with my McDonald's breakfast in hand.

So, as I pass all these things that make me think, I keep glancing at the sky. There are two major storms heading our way - 6" of rain through Sunday, up to 10' of snow in the Sierras. We need the rain, but I think of those standing in line for food, or even those sleeping on the streets. I get to go home to a warm house and full pantry. What choices do they have?

It makes one pause and realize even on our worst day how lucky we really are as long as the basics are covered.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What's On My Needles

I cast on a new project last night....

My So Called Scarf

The pattern is My So Called Scarf. It's a lovely, easy pattern and I am nearly half way done with it. It's knitting up very quickly. The yarn is Baruffa Merinos Otto Shadow. The picture does not do the yarn justice. It is so squishy too!

I purchased the yarn when we were in Las Vegas last November, so this is souvenir. When we go to LV later this year, maybe it will be cold enough to wear this latest creation.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008