Monday, March 31, 2008

Just One More

I know lately there has been no needlework on this blog, it's been music or current affairs.Ok,my next post will be needlework, but I had to post this video of one of my all time favorite bands. When it comes to a Celtic band inspiring traditional craft forms, Capercaillie always does it for me. And while this song is not exactly traditional, it's one of my favorites. Plus, whether she sings in Gaelic or English, Karen Mathieson has one of the greatest voices ever.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


"My life is open wide,
The more you live the less you will die"

Ok it's more Carbon Leaf, but like I said before, if you're looking for good, folky, solid and sometimes introspective song writing these guys are really good.

Friday, March 28, 2008

BBC Report

I heard about this report on the Thom Hartmann show yesterday.What I'd like to know is why the BBC reports on this but I haven't heard about it from our news outlets? Talk about shades of the Great Depression!

Then there's the question of: If this is what's happening in LA where it's relatively warm, where are people going in places where it isn't warm? Here in Chicago, we had an inch of snow yesterday. I know there are people who would say that it's those peoples fault because they let themselves get into loans they couldn't possibly pay for, but I think those who made the loans are more to blame. In their greed to make as much money as they possibly could they were willing to put a lot of peoples well being at risk. This is what happens when there is no one to regulate that greed.

Thom Hartmann is the smartest person I've heard on talk radio; he can be streamed live at Air America radio from 11:00 til 2:00: or here in the Chicago area his show is rerun on WCPT 820 fm at 5:00, although they go off the air before he is over. They also stream at:

Monday, March 24, 2008

I watched the End of Suburbia last night; I hadn't seen it in awhile and since I recently recommended it to someone I thought I'd watch it again myself. With the recent happeneings on the economic front and oil being over $100 a barrel, and (at least in my opinion) not likely to ever go below $100 again, I was kind of watching to see how much of the movie is begining to come true. I can't even begin to list everything. I also was reimpressed with a couple of things, the first being how much of the food we eat is dependent on oil. Our fertilizers and insecticides are oil based, the machines we use to plant and tend and harvest that food run on oil. The plants that process that food are in a good many cases run on electricity that is derived from some sort of fossil fuel, and we get that food to our grocery stores on trucks which run on oil derived diesel. Without a source of oil we are trully a starving planet. Actually there is an excellent photo essay called "What the World Eats" in two parts here:,29307,1626519,00.html
and here:,29307,1645016,00.html

What's really striking in these pictures is how much of the food is processed. It's remarkable how our food is awash in petroleum products. We cannot sustain life in the numbers that currently populate this planet without fossil fuel. And yet we go right along squandering the most precious resource we have, driving to fucking Wal-Mart to buy stuff made in China in our SUV's. Sometimes I agree with Siobhan that we are the stupidest race on this planet and we deserve to become extinct. However there are some signs that the party is about to end. With it looking like we have already reached worldwide peak oil production and that it will never again be less than $100 a barrel , combined with rising food prices and the burst housing bubble, the outlook for the average American is not rosy. It's pretty apparent we are on the verge of a collapse that may escalate into Biblical proportions rather quickly. Even if we stave off the ramifications of oil depletion for awhile (although I don't know how we can do that) economically we're fucked. The middle class has shrunk to a shadow of what it once was, unemployment is higher (probably much higher) then the reported numbers, every thing is higher priced, and we are in a recession that I think is the beginning of the the Great Depression of the 21st century. In the meantime, the economists and bankers and government officials use fake numbers that don't account for the neccessities of life, like food and fuel, and the real number of the unemployed, to paint a nice picture; but they are increasingly unable to keep up the appearance. In the last month or so 2 financial institutions have failed, and although Bear Stearns was given a bail out, (I don't know all the details on the failed European bank), there's really no way to bail every one out once the domino effect kicks in. And with all the bad loans sliced and diced and repackaged and resold, who the hell even knows who has what. And the fed drops interest rates and prints 2 billion worthless dollars to flood the market place in some kind of crazy sleight of hand manuoever so that maybe we won't notice whats really happening. No it's not a pretty picture at all. And we play it all out against the backdrop of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
And like the hypocrite I am, I still go to my worthless job to sell cheap crap to the stupid soccer moms of suburbia.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Blogging with Carbon Leaf

I saw Carbon Leaf at the Metro a few years ago, 2003 I think, when I saw Great Big Sea for the first time, and I have been a fan ever since. They unfortunatly don't get the airplay or acclaim they deserve, although they did win best of something at the American Music Awards about the same time I saw them (my brain is mush and I can't quite remember what). They are a solid, folky, songwriting and singing band if you like that sort of thing; which I do, and some of their lyrics are extrememly introspective and poetic. They also throw in an occasional bluegrass or Irish song, especially if you catch them around St Patty's Day. I've downloaded several live shows, and I look for them from time to time to see if they are coming back this way. So far I haven't been able to catch them again, and a peek at their web page shows they aren't headed this way anytime soon. So in the meantime, I found this wonderful video over at YouTube of them doing One Prarie Outpost at (of all places) a Borders in Olympia, Washington. All I can say is; how come bands of this calibre never play at my Borders?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Knitting

I found this yarn that Sio left here and knitted a baby hat. I can purl continental now too! This is Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist, and the colors are just perfect for a spring baby. Sio has a friend who's family goes to South America every year to volunteer medical services, and she always knits a bunch of hats for them to take with for the newborns. I'll give her this one too, and maybe I'll make another one for more practice.
I also finished this black shawl crocheted using Lion Suede. I bought the yarn over a year ago and started the shawl, now it's finally finished and I'll list it in my Etsy store. I started another one using a bulky acrylic/wool blend yarn that is recycled from a sweater. I sorted all my cotton yarn today, too; I have a ton of it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I made a couple of headbands and I might make a few more.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Birthday Blogging

Melissa was here last week which was really nice. We celebrated our birthdays together; Chris had a party at his house and it was a lot of fun. He has a friend who has Rock Band; they set it up and the real highlight of the evening was Siobhan singing the Beastie Boys Sabotage. It was so funny! Melissa has video of it and I want her to send it to me and I'll see if I can post it somehow.Chris invited a few people that I knew, and Sio asked Holly from work. Joan was in Alaska so they didn't ask her.It really was a fun party and I haven't been to a party in a long time. We didn't leave til 2, and with the time change it really was 3, and then we had to get up kind of early yesterday to take Melissa to the airport

Carla and Jimmy had their play on Friday and Saturday night, this is their second weekend. Melissa, who had spent a couple days with a friend in St Louis, met us at the theater early and we went to dinner at a Thai restaurant about a block away. The play was fun, too; Carla and Jimmy and the rest of the actors/actresses who are involved with them are so enthusiastic. I helped with some of the costuming. They were alright as far as costumes go, but kind of uninteresting. But they were perfect for the production and I understand they have to go pretty cheap. There was an opening act called the Puppet Bike which was kind of crazy but still ok.

Melissa helped me figure out how to do the border on my shawl. I didn't do the miter right, it doesn't look too bad, but I'll do better on the next one. I used a plain green yarn that Siobhan left here. I wish I had made it a bit bigger, but I didn't have a long enough circular needle. I'm going to buy a longer one at Hobby Lobby and maybe make another one.

The kids got me a new free motion foot for my machine, a spool rack for my thread, and the Quilters Design Wizard, which is just really cool. There are 200 blocks and 3000 fabrics, plus free downloads for more on the website. I played with it all last night, but the files aren't .jpg's, so I just took pics of the computer screen to show the program. What I really like about it is that you can look for fabrics by color or by type. And the math is almost eliminated; I can figure out what size I want to make it, choose blocks, border and fabrics, and it will come up with yardages and a guide for both rotary cutting and templates. I am going to design and make a baby quilt in the next couple of days for my Etsy store. It works for scrap quilts too.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

End of the World

Siobhan and I have been talking about the end of the world because of the Matchbox Twenty song Just See How Far We've Come.
I have to say I much prefer this:

Especially with it being Great Big Sea doing it!