Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scared. And Angry.

Right now I'm so angry I can barely write this entry coherently. I don't remember the last time I was this angry and hateful.

Tonight I had class. As many of you have guessed, I attend school in downtown Los Angeles. Not the best of neighborhoods in daylight, much less after dark. Up until tonight, I had never had any bad experiences with the seedier part of LA. I'm a smart girl - I stay on campus, I never venture anywhere alone after dark. I take care of myself.

On my way home tonight, following my normal route, I stopped at a red light. Almost immediately a car pulled up beside me (in the left turn lane). I noticed some commotion from the car, the windows were open and the men were talking loudly. As I looked over to see what was going on, another car pulled up behind me.

Immediately, I prayed for the light to change. I am a single white woman. I couldn't tell who was in the car behind me, but the car next to me was beat up, painted in primer, and two African American men were yelling at me through my closed window. If it makes me prejudiced I don't care. I was scared. Really scared.

I see the light for the cross traffic turn yellow. And then I hear a really loud bang against my car. And then another. The car next to me and behind me are throwing eggs at my car. I can't see through my side or back windows because they're covered in egg. The light turns green. I floor it. They don't follow.

I'm trembling. At first I'm scared. Then I'm angry. So angry I'm shaking and crying and I almost have to pull over, except I'm still in downtown so I don't.

In hindsight, I did the right thing. I mostly ignored them, I kept my windows shut and my door locked. I was probably never in any real danger - they were just driving around looking to harass SOMEONE and I was it.

In hindsight, I was lucky. I kept my window closed so they couldn't throw things directly at me. And it was only eggs. Far worse things have happened in LA. It could have been a gun.

But I'm scared. And I'm angry. And I hate them with a burning, sickening feeling that I've never felt before. And that last part is what makes me saddest of all.


"Chicks with sticks" - it's all about the sticks.

Check out these beautiful glass or bamboo knitting needles.

Edited to add: Or maybe ghosts and goblins?

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Pass the Viagra.


A Halloween Limerick

Today, Hallow’s Eve, she is haunting

With ghosts, ghouls and witches quite daunting,

The dark and the fright

Of this terrible night

Evil tricks and sweet treats and much taunting.



Tonight Jay Leno had David Eckstein on his show, the shortstop of the St. Louis Cardinals who helped the team win the World Series.

During the interview, Jay questioned Eckstein about a small blemish on his record.

With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur coming up in the next three weeks, the issue of religion vs. obligation -- whether to play or not to play -- will surface for baseball players committed to the Jewish faith. Shawn Green, David Eckstein and others will begin fielding questions about their playing status on the two holidays.

Apparently last season a Long Beach newspaper criticized Eckstein for playing baseball on Yom Kippur.

The punch line?

Eckstein isn't Jewish.

You would think someone would be checking his facts.

From Undercover Shortstop and Jay Leno.


How do I find thee? Let me count the ways.

1. Apparently I am the new expert on testicles:

why do mammals have two testicles
do all birds have testicles

One little article on turkeys and suddenly I'm the hot spot.

2. The bastion of Shakespearean engineering:

to be or not to be electrical engineer

If this is how you're choosing your career, I much luck wish you.

3. I have no earthly idea.

George Costanza nap compartment

4. Halloween is upon us and I'll be the fluffy little devil.

home made funny devil costumes

Apparently so will someone else.

5. Just in case you want to try some chemical experiments:


6. Several people looked for this exact phrase today and ended up here. I must be doing something right.

Bill Maher has donned the Crocodile Hunter outfit.

7. Alex Trebek says "All the people who visited this blog."

Who made the devil happy

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Monday, October 30, 2006

The Woods

More paintings here.


When Technology and Government Collide

From Wired:

Feds Leapfrog RFID Privacy Study

The story seems simple enough. An outside privacy and security advisory committee to the Department of Homeland Security penned a tough report concluding the government should not use chips that can be read remotely in identification documents. But the report remains stuck in draft mode, even as new identification cards with the chips are being announced.

Jim Harper, a Cato Institute fellow who serves on the committee and who recently published a book on identification called Identity Crisis, thinks he knows why the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee report on the use of Radio Frequency Identification devices for human identification never made it out of the draft stage.

"The powers that be took a good run at deep-sixing this report," Harper said. "There's such a strongly held consensus among industry and DHS that RFID is the way to go that getting people off of that and getting them to examine the technology is very hard to do."

RFID chips, which either have a battery or use the radio waves from a reader to send information, are widely used in tracking inventory or for highway toll payment systems.

But critics argue that hackers can skim information off the chips and that the chips can be used to track individuals. Hackers have also been able to clone some chips, such as those used for payment cards and building security, as well as passports.

The draft report concludes that "RFID appears to offer little benefit when compared to the consequences it brings for privacy and data integrity" -- a finding that was widely criticized by RFID industry officials when the committee met in June.

Meanwhile, the RFIDs just keeping coming. Last week, the State Department announced that it would soon be issuing new cards for visitors to Mexico, Canada and the Bermudas containing a chip that could be read from 20 feet away.

Changes in federal law will require Americans to have either a passport or the new "PASS card" to re-enter the country by air in 2007. Currently a driver's license will suffice to get an American back inside the country from these neighboring spots, but starting in 2008 that won't suffice even for quick, cross-border jaunts by car.

RFID chips are being used in the nation's passports, cards used to identify transportation workers and cards for federal employees, and may be features of the Registered Traveler program, the soon-to-be-released standards for all states' driver's licenses under the REAL-ID act, as well as proposed medical cards.

In early October, the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil liberties group known for partnering with industry groups, submitted comments criticizing the draft report, calling for a deeper factual inquiry and analysis, and a broader focus on identification technologies generally.

Jim Dempsey, the policy director for the CDT, says his group doesn't want the report killed -- he just thinks the privacy committee is ignoring the reality that RFID-enabled identification is already here. The report should focus on how secure the cards are, how far they can be read from and the whole backend of how data is stored and shared.

"Basically we were raising a flag on the one hand saying that RFID is already being deployed and we can no longer take the finger-in-the-dike approach," Dempsey said. "And we were saying that RFID is only one facet and not necessarily the most troubling aspect of this broader evolution of the creation and management of identification. The implications are huge, and to focus on RFID is, in that sense, off-target."

For instance, when customs agents begin reading the new PASS cards at the border, the travel data will be stored for up to 50 years, will be shared within Homeland Security and will be made available to law enforcement groups, both domestically and internationally, according to DHS' own privacy assessment.

It's unclear whether the new cards will have encryption or other measures to prevent skimming or forgery. That decision was left to the State Department, which will produce the card and has thus far remained mum on the privacy issues.

Harper hopes the committee will vote to finalize the report and that it will have an effect on the design of the PASS card, which currently proposes to let a Customs officer read them from 20 feet away.

"If we don't have a report out before the (PASS card) comment period ends, then we are irrelevant," Harper said.

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Monday Funny... Feel the "ARRRRR!"


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday night blues...

I can't believe it's time to go back to work and school already! The weekend passed in a blur.

Friday night was a wine and thai food party at WineGuy's. I finished one of the lovely scarves to the right, and then headed home and fell into bed a little after midnight.

Saturday was a beautiful day. I was set to work at the yarn store. Somehow the crazy customers came out of the woodwork - we had all kinds in there that afternoon. It was a bit of a long day, but I got lots of work done on the blue one, and chatted quite a bit with the ladies. Saturday night was a movie date with my honey, The Motorcycle Diaries. The movie was pretty good, but after a long day and subtitles, I got a bit sleepy and didn't quite make it to the end. Sadly, I ended up in bed around 9pm and slept all the way through to the next morning. (Happiness is gaining that extra hour from October daylight savings.)

Today was a quiet day. I started the day with some cleaning, and then headed out to see The Prestige with Knitmeister S. What an amazing movie. I really have to recommend it - it was totally mind bending and twisty and turny. Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine were fabulous. Definitely a 5-star movie!

After that I checked out the parents' house and did some laundry. Saw a crappy movie on HBO and managed to knit up the little red dress you see there in the foreground. That's going to be the body for Miss Hello Kitty, who's a birthday present for a coworker. You may remember what I did to him last year.

Tonight it's home and watching tv and preparing for tomorrow.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

The future is here.

Have you seen the commercial for the all new self-parking Lexus LS460? It's crazy cool, paving the way for fully automatic cars. Nevermore will you hear the phrase, "Home Jeeves!"


Glad I'm not doing THIS job.

10 dirtiest jobs in science

(CareerBuilder.com) -- Sometimes a job calls for a little dirty work, but when your job is in science, the dirty part can become increasingly literal.

Since 2003, Popular Science magazine has released an annual report detailing the "Worst Jobs in Science." Among the psychologically demanding and dangerous elements of some of these jobs, these scientists must also be willing to get to the nitty gritty, even if it means going where no man or woman has gone before (or would want to).

Whether they are sifting through reeking mud banks to find cures for contamination, or sorting stool samples to get to the bottom of our bathroom dilemmas, these are some of the science jobs that sacrifice their time, energy and comfort for the greater global good.

If you're a science enthusiast looking for a job and not afraid to get a little dirty, or just looking for a reason to appreciate your work a little more, here are 10 of some of the dirtiest jobs in science:

Manure Inspector

What they do: Wade through farming manure, inspecting different kinds of animal waste to make sure it is free from contaminants. By checking the manure, these scientists make sure that the harmful materials do not spread to infect vegetation, animals or consumers.

Orangutan-Pee Collector

What they do: Collect and analyze ape urine to study factors that effect their reproduction. The work involves tracking down apes and laying down large plastic sheets or attaching plastic bags to poles in hopes of catching adequate samples to analyze.

Hot-zone Superintendent

What they do: Perform maintenance work for bio-safety labs that study lethal airborne pathogens, for which there is no known cure. Their work enables scientists to study the nature of disease-causing organisms, such as anthrax.

Extremophile Excavator

What they do: Sift through the smelly fumes of arsenic-saturated mud areas in blistering heat in order to gather samples containing arsenic-eating extremophiles. The purpose is to find microbes that could possibly assist in the decontamination of the nation's freshwater sources.

Dysentery Stool Sample Analyzer

What they do: Study stool samples from diseased humans who have experienced diarrhea from a disease-causing microbe. The analysis allows these scientists to develop intestinal diagnostics to ease those suffering from the disease.

Semen Washer

What they do: Take semen samples under microscopic observation to study their sperm count, then spin, separate, add preservatives and freeze the samples for in vitro fertilization.


What they do: Monitor volcanic regions to determine when they'll erupt next. In addition to dodging hot magma, these scientists mountain climb their way through the heat and fight their way through fogs of sulfur dioxide gas, ash, rocks and debris.

Carcass Cleaner

What they do: Clean corpses for display using one of a variety of cleaning methods. This may include immersing the body in boiling chemicals, placing maggots or beetles on the carcass, or picking off the leftover flesh.

Fistula Feeder

What they do: Study how the insides of cattle work. To do this, they deplug the fistula, an opening to the bovine intestinal system, and take samples from the forestomach to test their digestion and reaction to food additives.

Corpse-Flower Grower

What they do: Grow and tend to a towering, foul-smelling plant called the corpse flower. Similar to the way pleasant-smelling flowers attract honeybees, the corpse flower attracts its own bugs, Sumatran carrion beetles and flesh flies. These scientists are competing to grow the largest blooming plant in cultivation.

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No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Geeking out.

I happen to be a devoted Mac user (give me OSX!), but I can also appreciate Linux and anything that isn't part of the Microsoft beast. But this shot of Fedora Core 6 might move me over to the Linux side of things. This is WAY cool.

Thanks honey!

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Wild Goats Try to Save California

Weed-eating goats prevent wildfires

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- California has traded Smokey the Bear for Smokey the Goat when it comes to preventing wildfires.

Each day some 350 rented goats are eating weeds in Berkeley at the intersection of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Centennial drive adjacent to the University of California campus, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The weed-eating goats are the latest effort to prevent costly blazes in Northern California, one of the most fire-prone regions of the United States.

Tom Klatt, head of the office of emergency preparedness at the university, said the rented goats are saving some $800 a day that it would cost to hire landscapers to clear out the weeds.

Klatt and others believe the hired goats are a key reason there hasn't been a major wildfire in the area since 1991 when 3,500 homes were destroyed at a rate of one every 11 seconds.

In addition to doing a super job, officials report the public loves seeing the animals grazing right in the middle of their posh community.


Simply Beautiful

Recently, I've discovered the simplicity and beauty of garter stitch. All those lumps I didn't like? Replaced by a delicious ogling of color. These are some scarves for the Dulaan Project.

In other news, after a bit of voir dire this morning, the defendant decided to plea bargain so we were all sent home with the thanks of the court. A check for $15 and a certificate in hand, I'm armed to avoid my civic duty for one more year.

Back to work tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Day of Ups and Downs


Guess who I got to meet today? Yup. Dan Rather was at work today interviewing one of our researchers. I got to shake his hand and take some pictures. Sometimes work has its perks.

I got an extra long lunch hour and got my ring cleaned (all sparkly now!), had a leisurely lunch in a Borders Books Cafe, and even got a book to read. Also some extended knitting time.


I was on jury duty today. At 2:30pm we got impaneled on what looks to be a 5-7 day trial. Jury selection begins tomorrow moring. Yikes!


Those two little words Americans dread: Jury Duty

Yes folks, I'm off today to do my civic duty and sit in a small, dim room for the entire day reading magazines and knitting feverishly. Oh wait, I mean await the opportunity to be a part of this great nation's justice system. Honestly, it doesn't bother me too much. It's a free day from work, a chance to catch up on my reading and knitting, and a break from the normal routine. Other than the commute to the courthouse, the early arrival time, and the fact that I had a few other engagements today that I've had to cancel, I'm up for it.

More witticisms when I return. Try not to miss me too much.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You knit WHAT?

Complete craziness.

UK art student Lauren Porter spent a good ten months knitting a full size replica of a Ferrari which used about 12 miles of yarn. I like what she says here, "I get men admiring the racing lines and old women look at the needlework."


Cactus Soother

Other odd "inventions" available here.


Daddy always said "Money doesn't buy class."

'S***sburgh' declares war on Sienna

Sienna Miller must be kicking herself and wishing she’d never opened her big mouth to slag off Pittsburgh - as the row between the actress and the city has now turned into open hostility.

Silly Sienna branded Pittsburgh "s**tsburgh" after being refused entry into a bar because she had no ID - but now identification is not an issue.

Indeed, the usually kind folk of the east-coast city know exactly who the 24-year-old actress is, and have told her she’s not welcome there again.

No wonder Sienna needed a cigarette back in LA yesterday, as she read the script of up-coming film Camille.

Staying popular is essential for any upcoming actress, and many are worried when adverse press affects the opinions of a mere few.

Angering an entire city is close to professional suicide.

So Sienna will feel uncomfortable with the news that American designer and Pittsburgh native Sheila Cameron has created an entire range of merchandise - from T-shirts and aprons to mugs, pillows and coasters - giving Sienna the finger.

The novelty items are in the Pittsburgh colours of black, white and yellow - and show a giant finger pointing Sienna in the direction of the UK, saying "Give Sienna The Finger. London’s That Way."

There’s another scathing range that have "Team Pittsburgh Say Sienna Go Home" emblazoned on them.

Daddy also said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Sienna - you had the whole world in the palm of your hand when you kicked that weasel Jude Law out of your house and home. Then you went and took him back and showed your nasty side to the world. The moral: quit while you're ahead.

Edited to add:

Merchandise available here.


Halloween Funny

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday Funny

Get it on a t-shirt here.


Knitterly cuteness.

More at Nana Knits.

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Things that make you go EEWW...

Detroit man in erotic pursuit of mannequins arrested, again

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit man with a history of smashing store windows to grab female mannequins has been accused of indulging his fetish again.

Ronald Dotson, 39, was arrested and jailed Oct. 9 after breaking a window at a cleaning-supply company to get at a mannequin in a black and white French maid's uniform, police said.

A judge Thursday ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination to determine whether he is competent to stand trial on charges of attempted breaking and entering.

"Mr. Dotson went to prison and they haven't helped him," said his lawyer, Edward Cohn. "He got out of prison and he was right back out there. It's pretty bizarre."

Dotson had been out of prison for less than a week when he was caught. His erotic pursuit of mannequins over the past 13 years has led to at least six convictions for breaking and entering and a stint in prison, police said.

"He told his parole officer he was going to buy a mannequin so he didn't have to do these break-ins anymore," said Detective Brendan Moore said. "Apparently that didn't work out."


In Search of Peace

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.

-Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)


[Insert Witty Title Here]

It was a great weekend - lazy, with lots of knitting and movies.

Off the needles:

* The second of the set of pillows
* Another diamond bag. (Hallelujah I'm done with this pattern!)
* Two swatches in fall colors for the yarn store (The orange is a cotton/poly blend and very stretchy and soft, the rust one is a merino/cashmere blend and so soft you could die)

Crossed off the Netflix List:

* The Passion of Ayn Rand - 3/5 stars, Helen Mirren was great, but the movie was so-so.
* Match Point - 3/5 stars, the actors were good but the plot was flawed.
* 24, Season 3, Eps 1-4 - 4/5 stars, Jack is back! If I took a drink every time Kiefer said "DAMMIT!" I'd be really drunk right now.
* Little Miss Sunshine - 5/5 stars, we ventured out to the theaters today. This was a fabulous movie. I would totally recommend it!

On the to-do list for this week:

* Midterm presentation tomorrow night...blech.
* Jury duty this week - a day free from work to knit and read!
* Food and wine party Friday night - can't wait!
* Working the yarn store on Saturday

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Friday, October 20, 2006

A Religious Experience

For any of you who know me, you know that I'm not very religiously inclined. I usually define myself as Jewish by heritage (as in my family is Jewish) but not by faith (as in I don't really believe in it).

I'm not exactly sure when I started disbelieving. I know that as a child, I really felt no connection with the Jewish community. I went to Hebrew School up through the 5th grade. I could say the kids were mean to me, but it really wasn't anything other than the ordinary picking on the kid who was a little different. I guess I never found the community particularly welcoming. The Rabbi was very nice, and there were a few people I met that I still talk to today, but for the most part, I just felt like an outsider.

As I grew older, it became a constant battle between my mom and me. I never wanted to go to temple and she was adamant that I go. Ultimately I think I stopped going in part because I was rebelling against her, in part because I was uncomfortable there, and in part because I felt like a hypocrite going to a place of worship and standing alongside people who believed when I didn't.

All of this said, I went to a bris today for my boss's new baby. I wanted to go because events at work, of late, haven't been particularly kind to him, and he's been very good to me, so I wanted to show my support. Also because it's his first boy (he already has three girls!) and he's been so excited. I felt really honored to be included.

What I didn't expect, though, is how open and welcoming the whole thing was. A bris is a time for celebration, and the Rabbi was in high spirits. He was a quirky man who began by telling the story of how the Bris came to be, what it mean in terms of definition, translation and how important it was in Judaism. He went through the whole ceremony with a warmth, a humor and a caring that I hadn't seen before.

I don't expect that my feelings on my faith are going to change that much, because I still find it very hard to believe. But I feel really good about going today, and about finding a place in the Jewish community where I felt welcomed and accepted.


Once more, with feeling (aka Friday funny)

TGIF! It's finally Friday and it's so close to weekend I can taste it. Today is going to be an abnormal day in the life of me. I'm actually working from home in the morning (yes I actually have work that I can do from home!), taking a conference call at 11, and then heading to my my boss's new baby's Bris at noon. At the rate I'm going, I probably won't make it into work until at least 2pm.

However, for those of you out there that are having a rough Friday, I leave you with the following Friday funny, the lastest and greatest in the search for better living through chemistry:

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

All New with Less Butt Crack.

Wall Outlet 2.0: Plug-In Design Minimizes Exposure to Plumber's Ass

Taking home the Silver in the student design category of the Idea Awards, Plug-In by designer Julia Burke fits in a standard opening for electrical outlets. Its uplifted angle makes it easier to plug things into it, so when you're bent over to plug something in, unfortunate onlookers won't have to see your butt crack for too long. Plus, you can plug two large AC adapters into it with room to spare.

And electricity has been around for how long? 130 years or so? Finally, somebody thinks of this; it's one of those ideas that improves your quality of life.


Hubba Hubba

Knitting centerfold? LOVE IT!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday Funny



More here.


A big uh-oh in the art world.

I heard the story this morning on my way into work. Apparently about 10 days ago, Steve Wynn of the famous Wynn Casino in Las Vegas put his elbow through a Picasso. No joke. I did a little investigating.

From the New Yorker:


You might have seen “Le Rêve,” Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, in your college art-history textbook. The painting is owned by Steve Wynn, the casino magnate and collector of masterpieces. He acquired it in a private sale in 2001 from an anonymous collector, who had bought it at auction in 1997 for $48.4 million. Recently, Wynn decided that he’d like to sell it, along with several other museum-quality paintings that he owns. A friend of his, the hedge-fund mogul and avid collector Steven Cohen, had coveted “Le Rêve” for years, so he and Wynn and their intermediaries worked out a deal.

So Wynn decided to show the painting off to a few friends before the sale was complete.

The guests came at five-thirty, and Wynn ushered them in. On the wall to his left and right were several paintings, including a Matisse, a Renoir, and “Le Rêve.” The other three walls were glass, looking out onto an enclosed garden. He began to tell the story of the Picasso’s provenance. As he talked, he had his back to the picture. He was wearing jeans and a golf shirt. Wynn suffers from an eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa, which affects his peripheral vision and therefore, occasionally, his interaction with proximate objects, and, without realizing it, he backed up a step or two as he talked. “So then I made a gesture with my right hand,” Wynn said, “and my right elbow hit the picture. It punctured the picture.” There was a distinct ripping sound. Wynn turned around and saw, on Marie-Thérèse Walter’s left forearm, in the lower-right quadrant of the painting, “a slight puncture, a two-inch tear. We all just stopped. I said, ‘I can’t believe I just did that. Oh, shit. Oh, man.’”

Apparently the incident was witnessed by many people, including screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, who had this to say:

"Oh shit," he said. "Look what I've done."

The rest of us were speechless.

"Thank God it was me," he said.

For sure.

The word "money" was mentioned by someone, or perhaps it was the word "deal."

Wynn said: "This has nothing to do with money. The money means nothing to me. It's that I had this painting in my care and I've damaged it."

I felt that I was in a room where something very private had happened that I had no right to be at. I felt absolutely terrible.

At the same time I was holding my digital camera in my hand - I'd just taken several pictures of the Picasso - and I wanted to take a picture of the Picasso with the hole in it so badly that my camera was literally quivering. But I didn't see how I could take a picture - it seemed to me I'd witnessed a tragedy, and what's more, that my flash would go off if I did and give me away.


I told my son the story of what had happened to the painting, but it didn't really count because my son is completely trustworthy.

Nine days passed and I told no one else. It was the most painful experience of my life. But I felt good, too, because, as I say, I knew the story would come out eventually and when it did, I didn't want it to be my fault. And the story did come out.. Ten days after Wynn put his elbow through the painting, there was an item about it on Page Six of the New York Post. It was very clear who had given Page Six the item, and it wasn't me. I was thrilled that I had managed to keep the story (more or less) to myself and celebrated by calling several friends and telling them my version of what had happened.

As my coworker so aptly put it: "Rich people are both weird and stupid."

If Picasso knew he'd be rolling over in his grave right now.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Discourse on Testicles

Of the avian kind.

I was rather stunned today to see this headline: Testicle Festival allowed to keep its name.

It turns out that in Ft. Myers, Florida, each year there is a Turkey Testicle Festival. Recently the Festival has come under a certain about of scrutiny.

Members of the Fort Myers Beach Town Council voted four to one to not to change the name of the Turkey Testicle Festival.

Many people who were in attendance of the meeting say it was possibly the most entertaining meeting they had ever been to. But while the whole room was chuckling through most of the meeting, Councilman Garr Reynolds did not find it amusing at all.

Reynolds asked the festival's organizers to drop the word 'testicle' from the name.

"If you need to call it a Tom Turkey Festival, that would indicate it's a male turkey," said Reynolds.

So what precisely is a Turkey Testicle Festival?

The Testicle Festival is held at the Surf Club on Fort Myers Beach. Last year, the festival raised about $3,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank. The rule is, if you give a donation, you get to try a turkey testicle.

Apparently, Fort Myers Beach is simply following a national trend as there have been turkey testicle festivals in cities all over the country.

Now if you're like me, at this point you scratch your head and think, "Wow. I never saw a turkey with testicles. Do turkeys have testicles? How do turkeys reproduce?" Have no fear. Avian anatomy to the rescue.

Unlike the female's reproductive tract, the male usually has two functional testicles. However, they are located up inside the body near the kidneys, and are not found externally as they are in mammals. This is why most birds cannot be sexed by looking at the external characteristics of it, because the testicles or ovary are inside.

Great so you go up inside the bird to remove the testicles and serve them up to me? I don't think so.

Recipe for "Butterflied Turkey Nuts" (P.S. Don't ignore the recipe for Barnyard Family Jewels or Battered Balls!)

3 pounds of fresh turkey nuts
1 pound of flour
Salt & Pepper

Heat fryer to 350-degrees. Rinse nuts under cold running water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Make a lengthwise slit in your nuts, almost cutting in half but not going all the way through (butterfly). Dredge in the seasoned flour and fry immediately. Have a platter with a towel to drain your nuts on. Serve your nuts with your favorite sauce.

As a side note, I can imagine any number of men I know cringing at the thought of slitting the nuts lengthwise. I can also imagine a number of men who would tell me they "got nut sauce right here." I digress.

Lest you think I'm kidding, be sure to check out this citation:

Turkey Anatomy by Robert Klemm and Walter J. Bock, Science, Volume 175, Issue 4019, pp. 255

Well there you have it folks. You heard it here first.

Now that's enough Tom-foolery. Back to work.


An Alarming Trend.

The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome and the Potential Downfall Of American Society.


"The FDR [Family Death Rate] is climbing at an accelerating rate. Extrapolation of this curve suggests that 100 years from now the FDR will stand at 644/100 students/exam. At that rate only the largest families would survive even the first semester of a student's college career. Clearly something will have to be done to reverse this trend before the entire country is depopulated."


Tuesday Funny


What in the KNIT is THAT?

This my friends is a Pastafarian Flying Spaghetti Monster hat. I'm not sure I would wear it, but I can definitely espouse the religion!



One of the problems with having a public blog that all my friends read, is that when something goes wrong, I really have no place to journal my thoughts about it. So I've been completely mum, at least in cyberspace, about an issue that has bothered me for a few months now. A few months ago, someone I considered a close friend and I had a falling out. And somehow it wasn't until tonight that we finally talked about things. I don't know exactly how things are going to go in the future, but all I do know is that all the vestiges of hurt and anger that I was carrying around are gone now. And I can only hope that he feels the same way.


Deep Thoughts

Why is it that a tv show called "Friday Night Lights" is on Tuesdays?


Monday, October 16, 2006


In California we don't really get seasons. Most of the time winter is what would traditionally be called fall elsewhere - 50's and rainy. Since I went to college in the Midwest I have experienced fall and winter in their real forms. I have to say that I miss fall terribly. The colorful leaves, the cool crisp days, bundling up in scarves and hats, the terrific lightning storms and rain. How everything smells - just crisp and clean. Of course there's always Halloween too which brings candy, costumes and fun. Oh and Harvest Moons. See?


Graffiti as Art

More here.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Other work of the weekend

Just one more pic to show how I've been playing with yarns. On the left is a swatch for the store in "Moods". The other is a square for Grandmother Purl, in Tahki Santa Fe.

Today was mostly lazying around, and then errands, laundry and dinner with the parents. Now it's just back to work tomorrow. *sigh* I would love a vacation.


Off the Needles

I just finished this one today, along with a few other little tidbits. I'm so pleased with the way it came out. I'm planning to make a partner for it and gift it for the holidays. Hopefully the recipient will like it! I absolutely love the pattern and the Cascade/Noro combo. More updates with my other projects tomorrow. For now, it's off to bed.


Friday, October 13, 2006


While browsing tonight I found this yummy eye candy. Unfortunately its designed by a bakery in Perth, Australia, so I suspect I won't be able to get them to do my cake.

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What in the KNIT is THAT?

Rainbow hotpants people. My first thought was "ohmigod who would wear those?!?!" But my next thought was, hmmm those would be cute to sleep in.... I think I'm slipping people. What do you think?


A room with a view...

Just a little snapshot of what I see out the window in this spare office. And yes, it has totally brightened my Friday. Now to just survive a few more hours and then head off to Bad Girl Knitting Night at the yarn store!

Happy weekend all!

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The Great Flood of October 13, 2006

Apparently there was an incident in the Executive Washroom (like a pipe breaking or something) and I came in this morning to find my new work space soaking wet. I thought I would get out of having to work, but that trick didn't quite work. So now I've got my laptop set up in a spare office, I'm grooving to Pandora tunes and cranking out some work, and loving not having a phone. It seems I can get much more work done when no one knows where to find me and disturb me.


Thursday, October 12, 2006


Well after a few days of uncertainty there is news to report. No I won't lose my job. No I won't be reporting to the new Executive Director. Yes I will get some new responsibilities - mostly marketing ones.

It looks like if I play my cards right I could end up doing a lot of marketing - the website, newsletters, brochures and media materials. Right up my MBA alley. I moved my desk today, boxed or left tons of files for my "replacement" and have a 180 degree different perspective on a little corner of the world now (quite literally). Yes honey you were right - change doesn't have to be bad.

And I found a way to order myself some graphic design software today for work! Creativity here I come!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Dog Days