Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Knitting Socks!

The first pic is the beginning of the ribbing, then there are a couple of pics of the top part. The last 2 pics are of the heel flap. I am using a Lion Brand self striping sock yarn that Sio has had for ages. So far it's pretty easy; I think the hard part will be when I actually have to join the heel flap the the rest of the sock. Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been working on some bags and I think they are turning out nicely. I am using recycled fabric for them. The camel one is recycled wool, and the applique leaves are from leftover dyed wool from my rug making stash. The lining is a leaf print that is recycled from a cotton top that I bought for $1 at the resale shop. The green bag is made from a pair of cords and a recycled sweater; I lined that with a new green on green cotton from my stash. The last one is the one I'm working on now. The solid black is from a pair of wool pants, the black and white is a silk/wool blend also from a pair of pants. I had it in my rug making stash but it ravels a bit more than I like to use. I have a set of black plastic handles that I might use, or I might make some. I'm going to find a vintage button to sew in the center of the red flower. I don't know what I'm using for a lining yet.

Sio and I went to Evanston on Saturday. Carla and her neighbor organized a bunch of people to bombard an empty lot with seeds to make it look better. It used to have a nice older building, but it was sold and knocked down to put up condos. In the current market I guess they didn't get their funding so the lot has just been sitting there. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and the lot will have wildflowers instead of just being an eyesore. In the past this might have been a waste of time but in the current economic climate there may never be a building on that lot. If things continue to worsen someone might tear down that fence and start growing food instead of flowers. We had lunch before hand at the Indian buffet, and dinner after at Lucky Platter where they have the best macaroni and cheese in the world!

It looks like they have come to some sort of agreement on a bail out bill in Congress. I haven't read the details yet so I'm going to do that now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This is from FoxNoise!

The results are in, it's probably been polled to death by now; Obama won last nights debate. I watched most of it and I think he did a fine job and he looked very presidential. McCain on the other hand looked mean and antagonistic. I don't think he looked at Obama even once. And when it comes to foreign policy I think Obama showed that he has the knowledge and the conviction to lead us down the right road. I wish they had spent a bit more time on the economy though; I don't think Obama spent enough time hammering home how bad this bailout will be, and how his tax policy will affect most Americans. And McCain spent too much time on his tax plan, Plus I'm not sure if we can really believe anyone on taxes if we end up footing the bill for Wall Street. That money has to come from somewhere.
Anyway, Fox did a bit on undecided voters, and I think their results are surprising considering how much they hate liberals:

Just came across this. Wow!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Am I Crazy?

I have been reading Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine"; I am not very far into it, maybe about 100 pages, but already I am making some eerie connections between some of the things that went on in South America and what is happening here. Thom Hartmann described what is happening on Wall Street as "The Shock Doctrine on steroids". Then there is the knowledge of how neo-con philosophy works. To grab and/or consolidate power they believe it's best to swoop in and grab during a national disaster of some sort, and if there isn't one happening, it's ok to create one. It is exactly what Friedman believed was the best way to gain control of a countrys economy and radically change it to "pure capitalism". While people are distraught and uncertain, just grab power. It happened on 9/11, and I think that's exactly what's going on now. I heard a soundbite of Bush talking in 2002 about how it would be a good thing to give people that didn't have good credit home loans so they could have nice houses too. I actually think that they knew something like this was going to happen. I think the real flaw was that it happened sooner than they expected it to. It would have been better had this crisis come about right before the elections or even after them. Another Naomi, Naomi Wolf has also written a couple of books. (I haven't read them, however I am about to rectify that starting today.) She was interviewed this morning on the radio, and I caught the interview. Anyway, in her book "End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot", she outlines how a regime takes over a country, and she puts forth the case that we are in the last stages of a coup, and that if we don't do something these elections may be the last elections that we see. I have believed for a long time that Cheney and Rove will not willing give up the power that they have gained. Besides the finacial meltdown, there are also some other things going on. The same Naomi Wolf has written an excellent piece over on the Huffington Post that talks about how Palins speeches are written by Bush's speech writers, and "that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move". The article is downright scary. Read it for yourself Then there is this little item I read about also, and heard mention of on the radio this morning:http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/09/25/18541231.php

Maybe I am crazy, but if the dots are connected it gets really scary. Are we that close to a police state? And even if we aren't, just the thought that we could be should be causing outrage in the American people. I have to ask, why aren't we marching in the street? Even real Republicans, not the fucking neo-cons, but real conservatives, should be outraged at the possible bid for power that may be in the making. I am holding out hope that Congress not giving Paulson and his cronies exactly what they want is sending a message back to the neo-cons and corporatists; that it might not be as easy as they think it will be. And if there is even a wisp of a belief that this election has been tampered with people will be marching in the streets. We are a democracy, and by God we need to remain one!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If it Smells Like Poop.....

...chances are it is. And that's exactly how I see the whole collapse of the "banking industry" and the bail out that's supposed to put it back on it's feet. Now, I know I am not an economic expert, however, the way I see this is, we let the fox in the chicken coop and he decimated the chickens. Now he's back with his tail between his legs asking us to put more chickens in the coop and then just leave him alone and everything will be ok. I think not, especially when those chickens are costing 700 billion dollars.And what will there be for the families out there who have lost their homes, or who are on the verge of losing them? As far as I can see, nothing. I'll also admit I don't know a lot about the last depression; however I do know that Hoover tried a very similar bail out plan then, and it didn't work. You can't take nothing and make something from it, and the whole financial sector was mostly made up of smoke and mirrors; trying to make something from nothing. John said yesterday that world wide one hundred thousand trillion dollars (and that means nothing to me; I'm still trying to get my head around 700 billion) is in derivatives. That's more than the GDP for the whole planet! And none of it, as far as I can tell, is real! It's total insanity, and they just want more money to continue it for a few weeks until after the elections. And that's all this bail out plan will do.

Anyway, I say tighten the belts and let it fall now.Make no mistake, we are going to have to assume a lot of the bad debt, and we're going to go through a painful time, but unfettered capitalism my ass! Wall Street shouldn't get a damn thing; if we're going to start doling out money then lets do some of the things FDR did. How about we start on the infrastructure of this country? A lot of people can be put to work in good paying jobs that way. And what about all the green jobs that can be created? And the homeowners that are about to be foreclosed on? Lets step in and renegotiate those loans to a low interest rate so the can stay in them. And then lets re institute the regulations on the banking industry! I think the last 25-30 years have shown that an unfettered free market is NOT the salvation of the world. One time I was upset about something and Melissa said that spitting on Milton Friedman's grave might make me feel better; well it's time to collectively spit on it, and then inscribe some sort of warning on his headstone so we don't let this happen again!

Oh, one of the things that was a bit funny was John trying to explain to Sio how this whole thing came about. He tried various ways, and explained to her what a Ponzi scheme was, but she just couldn't get it. She kept saying things like "Why would people invest in things that aren't real?" and "I thought these guys were supposed to be really smart, right?" I think the only thing she understands is that her generation is probably going to be left totally bankrupt and owing trillions of dollars to China. And she's already so cynical, this just shows her that she's right to be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water Water Every Where

I was out in the neighborhood taking pics of the incredible flooding this morning. It's higher than yesterday, Salt Creek wasn't supposed to crest until this morning. John said he doesn't remember it ever being this bad when he was growing up although there was a guy up on Normandy who said that it was worse than this in 1986; he showed me where the water came to then. There was a house that had a boat tied up to the light post. We are very lucky being in the spot we are; we had a little water but not too bad.

I know that the banking industry is going through the wringer right now. It doesn't bode well for things to come. JHK's post is all about it this morning:
He is also saying that we should be refering to the Republican Party as the "party that wrecked America", which is a pretty accurate description. I haven't given a lot of it much thought with all the rain, and today I'm taking garbage out of the basement, so I don't think the full magnitude has sunk in. I'm anxious to hear what Thom Hartmann has to say.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More on Palin

I read an article in the NYT about how Sarah filled government posts. It makes for some interesting reading. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?ref=politics

I don't think playing favorites is the way to fulfill your duties as the Vice President of the US. I also read another article that talked about how her husband Todd sat in on a lot of the government business of Alaska, to the point where it was questioned about why he would need to be there. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14todd.html

That just supports my argument against having a conservative right-wing Christian in the second most powerful office in the nation, just a heartbeat away from the most powerful job on earth. Don't people realize that because of her religious views we won't be getting Sarah Palin as leader, we will be getting Sarah Palin who is obedient to Todd, her husband; who is head of her? Melissa told John that some of the women in her knitting group were rampant Hillary supporters and now say they will vote for McCain; and that Melissa is sexist because she doesn't support Palin. What is wrong with these women? Don't they realize that by voting McCain/Palin they will set the Women's Movement back by decades? Honestly, if that's what we've come to in this country; if intelligent people are going to let themselves be so blinded by their emotions, we might as well pack it up and move to Canada and let them live with the consequences of their decision. I mean, it's insane! Actually, Matt Damon calls it absurd and compares it to a really bad Disney movie in this youtube video:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

After Concert Blogging

What do you do if you are an ageing classic rock band whose lead singer is no longer with you? You get another singer who is half your age, sounds a lot like your old one, has a tremendous amount of energy and you carry on. That's exactly what Journey has done; and I was surprised at the results. They have a new cd, which I haven't listened to, and they did a few songs from that; and a whole bunch of older ones and Arnel Pineda did a fine job with them. He really does sound a lot like Steve Perry. Richard said they found him in a karaoke bar. Go figure. Apparently the new album has been nominated for classic rock album of the year and was #1 on Billboard.

Cheap Trick opened, and I've never been a fan; but the songs I knew they did well. I forgot they are the band that does the theme song from "That 70's Show", and they opened with that. All in all they were ok.

The band we were really going for was Heart. Since they were 2nd they only played an hour, and Sio, Chris, John and I agreed they did too much of their slower stuff and not enough of their kick ass stuff. They were better when we saw them last year at Napervilles Ribfest. However, when we saw them at Ribfest, and again last night, they did an excellent cover of The Who's "Rain on Me". I blogged awhile back on cover songs, and actually I have to say that if I had video of Heart last night I would post it. I have to say it's one of the best covers I've ever seen. They were just really great; it was the highpoint of their show. Plus it rained, kind of a steady drizzle, but getting a bit harder at times, the entire night, so it was a fitting song.

Speaking of rain, one of the high points of the show for me was when Sio called Melissa during Barracuda and held up her cell phone so Melissa could hear where we were. A couple minutes later Melissa texted back "You rule." Then Sio sent another text, because the show was so short and said "It kind of sucked". Melissa replied in a text saying "At least it wasn't rained out" Siobhan took a picture of John dripping water in his rain poncho to send to Melissa, but she couldn't figure out how to send pics, so she sent another text describing the picture. It was pretty funny.

The rain held over into today and we spent most of the morning getting water out of the basement. Sio and I are both thinking that Celticfest has been cancelled, so I guess we'll probably just go out to eat. It kind of ended up being a let down weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wonky House Rug and Other Stuff

Here is a picture of the wonky house rug. It's been pretty much finished for weeks now except for the upper left hand corner, just about 2 inches. I picked it up and finished it in about 20 minutes or less this morning and I'm going to sew it into a pillow.

Tonight is Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey. I have to confess that I'm not all that excited about them; I probably would be if CelticFest weren't tomorrow. I'm soooo looking forward to that. We are going early and staying til the GBS show is over. It's supposed to rain, but it's supposed to rain tonight too.

Oh, I started back at Hancock for just 5 or 6 weeks til Lorraine comes back from medical leave. Mr Skeen really needed someone so he could get a break. But after she comes back I'm leaving again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

CelticFest and Other Stuff

CelticFest is this Saturday and Sio and I are going. Great Big Sea is playing on Saturday night and I'm pretty excited, even though I don't like what I've heard of the cd. I expect they'll play some old stuff too, they always do. Mairi Rankin is there too, and I'd like to see her. This is my first time at the fest, too, even though I've been saying forever that I was going to go. Since it's in Grant Park we can take the train and walk. And since we'll get weekend passes I can go to Geneva to the yarn store on Sunday too.

I have been pretty busy with the crocheting and recycling sweaters, plus I finished the scarf I was knitting. It looks very nice and I want to knit a watch cap to go with it.

We've also done a lot of fishing; the weather has been perfect, not hot but not cool either. We all have caught nice size fish, but John still holds the record for biggest out of the 3 of us.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I watched the Palin speech; and I'll give her a good delivery. She reads a speech very well, even one that was written for someone else and had to be changed to make it more "feminine". A great delivery of a speech that was filled with the same lies that we have heard over and over again and very little else. She did not address the economy, or health care, or the destruction of the middle class of this country, or even a real plan on energy independence. She trotted out the same old lies and half truths in attacking Obama, and I for one am getting tired of it. She tried to point out that being a mayor makes you more experienced than the State or US senate and harped on his lack of doing anything. And for anyone who believes that go and read this: http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/obamas-senate-accomplishments/

I think she really showed how unqualified she is to be Vice President. What I would really like to see is Hillary come out with both guns blazing and show why Palin is not qualified to do anything except slink back to Alaska. And then finish her off in the VP candidates debate.

I realize that in the past the American voters have very often based their vote on sound bites and who looks best, but I really think the GOP has over calculated this time. I think people are more engaged and they are paying more attention to the issues. Palin may have energized the base, but I think they were counting on the average women in this country being a lot dumber than they actually are. The Hillay contingent would never come out for this woman.