Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whiskers On Wednesday

"I thought you were over this."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

That Creaking Sound You Hear

Is the sound of all the bandwagon fans jumping back aboard.

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 21, Carolina 7.

More importantly, a notch in the win column. And right now, that's one more than the Pittsburgh Steelers have. You know, the Steelers. The defending Superbowl Champions. The ones that are 1-2.

Yeah, those Steelers.

It's Tuesday

As most of you know, I work in a facility that manufactures evaporator coils for home air conditioning units. What I do is use an acetylene torch to join copper components together in pre-specified assemblies, known as brazing. Anyway, I got to work this morning, and lit up my torch and there were flames coming out of my regulator where they weren't supposed to be coming out. I called my group leader, Rod, over and told him what was happening, and he called maintenance. While I was waiting for maintenance to come out there, my shift supervisor, Ronnie, came over and asked what was going on. I told him, quipping, "If I were having a heart attack, I'd be dead by now as slow as it takes them to get out here."

Ronnie said, "While you're waiting, help Tameka line braze."

"I don't know how to line braze," I told Ronnie.

"I know you can do it," he said, "I think you can do anything."

So I got my line tip out and started line brazing. Or trying to, rather. I wasn't over there very long when my fire died. I fiddled with it a bit, but never could get it to work. Keta came over and put her tip on it, and it didn't work for her either. By that time, Jason, the maintenance guy, had gotten my regulator on my stand fixed, so I went back over there. Jason went to fix the regulator on the line.

I lit my torch up and brazed one assembly. Then my torch wouldn't light again. I wasn't getting any gas. I called Rod back over there, and he fiddled with it, but couldn't get any gas. He called Jason back to come fix it. I had to wait for him to finish fixing the line regulator first. While I was waiting, I decided to go hook my tip up to another gas outlet on the line, only to discover that my tip had clogged up. Marcus took it apart for me, and saw that it was plugged all the way down. The only way to fix it was to replace the tubes.

So I went back to the tool crib to ask Robert for some new tubes, only he said that he couldn't get me any. Someone had locked the tool cabinet and he didn't have a key.

I went back and told Rod, "I'm cursed. I think I just need to go home and go back to bed!"

And all of this before 9:00.

Needless to say, Rod wouldn't let me go home, my stand finally got fixed and I was able to braze, and someone finally got there with a key to the tool cabinet, so Marcus was able to fix my line tip. Still, it was a very draining day.

The Cowboys beat the Panthers last night, and I don't even feel like posting it. That's how bad it is. I've got the cure, though. Some peppermint hot chocolate and a few moments with a good book before bed.

Tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Finally Fall

Fall weather is finally here! It has been a beautiful day. Sunny, breezy and cool enough to keep my windows open all day.

As is typical of the onset of Fall, I felt life returning to me. I had a productive day--though it was all the mundane chores of running a home. I did some laundry, washed some dishes, dusted, vacuumed, and the like. Once I got done with all that, I started putting out some of my fall decorations. My problem with that is that I have more decorations than places to put them.

I am almost through with my Kernel scarf. I just have a partial pattern repeat, and the bottom border and I'm done. Photos soon. Got football on tonight.

Music Monday

It's been a month since we lost Katie, and I still miss her as much as ever. I half expect to turn around and see her laying behind my chair, like she used to, or to follow me out to the mail box, like she did every single day for the last 13 years.

I know she's gone, but I can still feel her there. Just as close as she always was. As close as skin.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post to bring you the following announcement:

If you want to live a life of bitterness, anger, and hatred, that is certainly your right, but don't expect me to support you in your constant outpouring of sourness. Neither do I want to hear your negative blather. Thank you for keeping this bitterness to yourself
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunny Saturday

It is Saturday night, and for the first time in a month, there is no rain in the forecast!

In football news, LSU hung on to win a nailbiter against Mississippi State. LSU really didn't play all that well. Jordan Jefferson was very inaccurate in his throws, and the running game couldn't get going. However, the defense stood up when it had to, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone from just inches away.

Later, I watched Florida knock off Kentucky, and Tim Tebow was knocked senseless. He ended up vomiting, which is a symptom of a concussion, and was taken to a local hospital for further tests.

I didn't get to see Texas slaughter UTEP, because none of the local channels were carrying that game. However, here is your

Gratuitous Colt McCoy photo:

UTEP v Texas

A Friday Post On A Saturday Morning

I was going to post this last night, but I went to the High School football game, and by the time I got home, I decided I was just too tired. So you get Friday's post on a Saturday morning.

So, I went to the ball game last night, and I must say that the first thing I noticed was the smell. After nearly a month of rain --I think we've had ONE day in the last month when it didn't rain at least some-- the field smelled like swamp. It pretty much looked like one, too. They didn't even have hash marks or numbers on it, because it hasn't stopped raining long enough for the grounds keepers to get them down.

Grenada won, for the third time. Now, this is the team that won one game all of last season, and so far this year, they have won three. They've got a couple of really good running backs that are carrying the load.

But what I really go to see is the band. Last night, the opponent was Vicksburg. Their band also did a halftime show, and I felt so sorry for them. I guess they just weren't used to marching in such muddy conditions, because they were slipping and falling all over the field. One poor girl fell, and must have gotten mud in her flute because she didn't play any more after that. She just kind of marched where she was supposed to and held her flute. Once they were done, we were sure to give them good applause. They deserved it, just for making it through their show.

After that, our band got out there and did their program--well, part of it. They won't reveal the whole program until Band Night, which is usually the second week of October. Cody had told me when they first started learning it that their show was going to be "AWESOME" and he was right. Just what I heard made my neck hairs stand up.

I can't wait until band night, now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Fine Fiber, Now

Most of you know where the title of my blog comes from -- the three arts in my life. Fine arts. Martial Arts. Fiber arts.

If you've read for any length of time, you know that I have been training in Isshinryu Karate for several years now. I'd trained for 5 years, and had gotten my first degree black belt. About a year ago, I found I had to take a break--for personal reasons, financial reasons, and physical reasons. I'd always planned on going back to class as soon as I could.

This morning I received an e-mail from sensei. He is moving the dojo again, only this time he's moving it to a town about 100 miles away.

No more training. No more Martial.

I'm just Fine Fiber now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall

(This photo is from last year. The leaves haven't started turning yet this year.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The New Stadium Unveiled

Fittingly, Marion Barber scored the very first regular season touchdown in the new Cowboys Stadium, just as he scored the first ever touchdown in the new stadium during preseason.

(AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)

But the day was disappointing overall. The stadium was fantastic. It was incredible. It was awe inspiring. NBC's sports coverage wasn't. There was a ceremony before the kickoff revealing the star in the middle of the field.

(AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)
Cowboy fans all over the world wanted to see this. Those who couldn't get to the game in person were looking forward to seeing it on TV. Surely they would show it. A small ceremonial thing, but it meant so much. What did NBC show? An interview with Eli Manning.

There was a ceremony at halftime unveiling the Ring Of Honor. Most of the members of that Ring were in attendance. Bob Lilly, Randy White, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and more. They were there.

(AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)

The names were revealed one by one. Cowboys heroes all. Fans all over the world wanted to see this. Those who couldn't get to the game in person were looking forward to seeing it on TV. Surely they would show it. A small ceremonial thing, but it meant so much. What did NBC show? An interview with John Madden.

Cowboy fans everywhere were crushed by NBC's lack of coverage of these ceremonies. They were important. They tied Texas Stadium to Cowboys Stadium. It was bitterly disappointing not to be able to take part in them, even if only over the airwaves.

As if that wasn't heartbreaking enough, the Cowboys lost a close game on a last second field goal, 33-31.

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Next week will be better. It has to be. It couldn't possibly be any worse.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Football Kind Of Day

It's been a football kind of day today. I started off watching Notre Dame vs. Michigan State, but switched over to catch the last few minutes of the Washington Huskies upset of #3 USC. It was Nick Folk's brother who kicked the game winning field goal for the Huskies. I'm not so much a Huskies fan, but I do like watching teams get upset, unless, of course, it's one of MY teams that's getting beat.

And how did my teams do? They did well. LSU easily defeated the Ragin' Cajuns of La-Lafayette 31-3. Charles Scott scored a touchdown.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Trindon Holliday scored, too. Brandon LaFell scored two touchdowns, but I think my new favorite player from LSU is Terence Tolliver.

Louisiana Lafayette v LSU

He didn't score in this game, but he has flair.

After that, I watched Texas defeat Texas Tech 34-24, in a game that was way too close for my comfort. Texas led pretty much the entire game, though Tech scored first, but they never got far enough ahead that Tech couldn't come back.

Texas Tech v Texas

As exciting as it was, I think the most amazing thing about the game was that they actually showed it here. It's hard to get Texas games in this market.

I'm going to head for bed now. Fun as today was, tomorrow is big boy football. But before I go, here is your Gratuitous Colt McCoy photo.

Texas Tech v Texas

P.S. I did knit some, too. Photos soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just For Fun

I got out all of my lace weight yarn and photographed it together.

They are all from Knit Picks and are (top row left to right) Shadow in Papaya, Shadow in Kettle Dyed Begonia, Shadow in Snorkel, Shadow in Hot Rod, Gloss Lace in Mango. Bottom Row left to right: Shimmer in Cumulus, Shimmer in Sunkissed, Shimmer in Spice, Shimmer in Morning Mist, Alpaca Cloud in Tide Pool, and Alpaca Cloud in Iris. That's a lotta lace to be knit.

Also for fun, one of my favorite photo subject, spider lilies:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


what I got! New yarns!

Knit picks had lace weight yarn on sale, some as low as $1.99 a skein! They are from the top left: Shimmer in the color Spice, Shadow in Hot Rod, Gloss in Mango, Bottom left: Shadow in Papaya, and Shadow Kettle Dyed in Begonia.

I've even got a new pattern picked out: Cherry Blossom Shawl.

I'd better get busy knitting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday WIP Update

It's been a while since I've done a knitting update, so here goes.

First up, this diagonal scarf. It's kept around to be my mostly mindless knitting, and will probably end up being donated to charity. The pattern is one I made up, based on photos of other similar scarves.

Next up is the Mystery Shawl '09. I've been working on it, but it's hard to see progress since I'm to the point where it takes a long time to do each row.

This is my Falling In Love sock.

This pattern is from the now defunct Magknits website. Fortunately, I had already printed out this pattern before it closed down. It's a very lovely pattern, and the yarn is Cherry Tree Hill in the color Cabin Fever. Unfortunately, it got set aside to work on my

Bandwagon Socks

which got set aside to work on Kernel Scarf.

This is after 6 pattern repeats, with only 17 more to go! Yep, I'm still stopping to admire the pattern every row or two.

I got to stay an extra hour at work today. Then almost as soon as I got home, it was time to go pick up Cody from band practice. So it seems like the evening has been really short. I think I'm going to go knit a bit.

In bed.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Utopia: The Land of Ideal Health Care

by Victor Morawski

Now boys and girls, I want to tell you a wonderful fairy tale about a talismanic land where only happy endings are allowed. And all you have to do is surrender your "liberty and freedom for all."

You all know that Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel was aboard the Clinton Express when it tried to take us to the magical world of universal health care in the early 90s. Sadly, that train broke down on the way and never arrived at Utopia.

But, not to worry, because now Zeke has boarded another train, the ObamaCare Special. And, it is leaving the station for the same destination.

Now, you're probably wondering what you will find in Zeke's Utopia. How will your needs be met? And what will this live-long life of lollipop and roses cost? Well, again, not to worry. You seek Zeke has already written a wonderful travel guide about his magical land of health care reform. Its title is "A Comprehensive Cure: Universal Health Care Vouchers." And it reads a lot like "Alice in Wonderland."

Zeke's Utopia is an enchanted place where everyone receives a standard package of wonderful health care services, "regardless of age, income, employment, health, or marital status." And all you need to pay for any of this is your complimentary "Health Care Voucher." Once in Utopia, you can take your ticket to any private health plan provider or insurer, and you are guaranteed a basic benefit package.

How's that for happily ever aftering?

Now, I know you've heard lots of scary stories about those nasty private health insurance companies turning folks away for preexisting conditions or other enrollment requirements. But Zeke would fix it so that in Utopia, they wouldn't be able to do this anymore. In fact he would severely restrict and control which companies can accept his special vouchers so that only one in ten would be left when he is finished. And those will either do as there told, or – zip! – it's down the rabbit hole for them.

You may be wondering, how can Zeke afford to buy everyone a "free" ticket? Where will he get the money? Well, in Utopia, everyone will help him get the money – including you – by paying a national sales tax [called a VAT] of ten to twelve cents on the dollar for everything they buy. So, the money you save on "free" health care, you'll be able to turn over to Big Government.

And that money will also enable Zeke to set up a National Health Board and regional health boards to "define and regularly adjust the standard health benefits to reflect…fiscal realities." If less comes in from the VAT, fewer health benefits will be guaranteed in Utopia. And Big Government will make the "tough administrative choices to be made." This is what's known in Utopia as "rationing." And it could cost you your life. But, that's a small matter.

Here is the best part about Zeke's plans for your life in Utopia. The 10 to 12 cents Zeke and his pals take out of every dollar you have (after Big Government has already taken the 50 cents it currently takes) will also enable Zeke and his pals to set up an "Institute for Technology Outcomes Assessment."

You see, Zeke has figured out that the problem with medical care today is that there is just too much spending that does not produce enough good results. So, in Utopia, Zeke's new government Institute would compare the "costs of drugs, devices, diagnostic tests, and other interventions" with their relative effectiveness in saving the lives of "participating citizens" to see which benefits will be provided to whom.

Only those "drugs, devices, diagnostic tests," and such, that produce enough good results — that is, save the lives Zeke and his pals decide are worth saving: the young and productive, in their eyes – will considered effective and receive Utopia's Big Government funding.

For example, let's think about grandma for a second. And let's say she was lying in the hospital unconscious on a respirator to help her breath. Now some selfish people (the kind Zeke definitely does not want in Utopia) would let her stay there for months at great expense to Big Government, hoping (and maybe even praying) for a miracle or an advance in medical technology that would bring her back to health.

But, not Zeke. Being of superior intellect and knowing how to properly evaluate who should live and who should die, Zeke and his Big Government pals would pull that plug so fast granny would have a tag on her toe before you could say "Sanctity of life." And in Zeke's Utopia, the word of the government is the unquestioned law of the land. So, there could be no legal challenge to the Institute's decisions.

So, there you have it: a Utopian world where everyone is healthy, happy, and in the prime of life. Because, in Utopia, you see, Zeke and his pals will kill off everyone else.

All aboard!!!

Victor Morawski is a professor at Coppin University and a Liberty Features Syndicated Writer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

'Nuff Said

All last season, sports analysts and commentators were talking abotu what a distraction Terrell Owens was. All they could talk about whas what a divisive force he was in the locker room. He complained all the time. He bullied Tony Romo. He went to Jason Garrett and demanded the ball more. He was a cancer. The Dallas Cowboys would never be able to accomplish anything until that cancer was cut out of the locker room.

In March, they got their wish. Terrell Owens was cut from the team. Funny how quickly the analysts' tune changed. In an instant, they went from "T.O.'s got to go" to "Why would you do something so stupid as to cut your biggest offensive weapon?" That has been the question all this off season and pre season. What are the Cowboys going to do without T.O.? How are they going to replace the production he brought to the team? Who will step up and bake the big plays now?

Miles Austin--42 yard touchdown catch

Roy Williams--66 yard touchdown catch, capped with a salute to our soldiers.*

Patrick Crayton--80 yard touchdown catch, the longest of Tony Romo's career.

A rushing touchdown by Marion Barber just put icing on the cake.

Well, that answers that.

(Photos by J. Meric/Getty Images)

*When asked why he saluted the solders, Roy replied, "They go overseas and put their lives on the line so that we can have the freedom to play this game that we love.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Stuff

Spent the entire day watching football. I think it's a good thing I'm not a professional sports writer, because I have to think about things before I can write a story. I'll see if I can get one up tomorrow. For now, check out my new knitting project:

This is Kernel from the new knitty. The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow in Snorkel, and I'm knitting with size 4 needles. I'd probably be a lot farther along if I didn't keep stopping to admire the pattern.

A couple of weeks ago, the Cowboys Pro shop was having a 20% off sale. Combine that with my 15% off for being a fan club member, and that was 35% off any order. How could I resist?

This arrived two weeks ago. I'd meant to post about it, but that was the day before we lost Katie, and it suddenly didn't seem so important. Still, I wanted to show it off since I finally got to wear it for real today.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009


After what seemed like an eternity of knitting, I finally finished this scarf.

The pattern is Trekking Is For Necking.

The yarn is Trekking XXL, but I don't recall what color, and have probably tossed the ball band.

The needles are US 3.

I've been so intent on finishing this scarf, that I pretty much set other knitting aside. Now that it's done, I'll be picking some of my other projects back up, and maybe, just maybe, casting on something new.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful

time of the year! Well, the second most at least. Not Christmas, but the start of football season! I think I overdosed on college football yesterday. I watched 4, yes 4, count 'em 4 games.

I watched Tennessee slaughter Western Kentucky, then I watched Georgia lose to Oklahoma State, then I watched Alabama vs. Virginia Tech until time for LSU to kick off. Since they were playing on the West Coast (Seattle, WA) kick off wasn't until 9:30 local. The game wasn't over until 1 AM. The commentator kept saying "This LSU defense looks tired." Well, duh, it was after midnight to them. They still won, but did look kind of zombiefied. They should have made that a 1 PM kickoff (Pacific time) instead of a 7:30 kickoff.

I didn't get to see Texas play, as no local station carried the game. I followed them on Yahoo Sports, though, and was glad to see that they won easily. Oklahoma didn't have it so lucky. They lost Sam Bradford to a sprained something or other in his shoulder, then they lost the game to BYU. I don't know yet how long Bradford will be out, but it would seem that they are not the same team without him.

As always, here is your gratuitous Colt McCoy photo:

Louisiana Monroe v Texas

Friday, September 04, 2009


my lack of posting lately. I just don't feel up to it.

I really miss Katie. I mean, I knew I'd miss her, but I didn't realize how much I'd miss her.

Cody's already talking about getting another dog, and I'm torn on this. It would be his dog, but it would really be my dog, like Katie was. I'd be the the one having to feed it, housebreak it, train it, etc. I just don't know if I want to go through that right now.

Maybe when I can make it through a single day without crying.

I haven't yet.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Show Me September

It's that time again. Here are my calendars for September.

My bedroom calendar:

My kitchen calendar:

My living room calendar:

And my office calendar:

What's on your calendar?

Lesson For The Day

The vacuum cleaner works a whole lot better when you put the top back onto the canister.

Really, it does.


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