Archive for July, 2011


29 Jul

I’ve had some curious experiences with Amazon in the past — mostly good, but some pretty peculiar even if they turned out well in the end. My kindle just went flat, and when I went to plug it in, the cord disintegrated in my hands. No sign of wear or trouble in the past, and suddenly the white rubber just fell off the cord, leaving bare wire.

Being a nerd, I googled it, and it’s a known issue. Called customer support, and not only did they send me a new one for free, they also paid for next-day shipping. Outstanding.

Update: Incidentally, I’ve had it since February 2009. 2-1/2 years. So it’s not exactly under warranty. :o)

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Posted in Books, Gadgets



24 Jul

How long have these ladies been waiting, do you suppose?

Phyllis Siegel, 76, right, kisses her wife Connie Kopelov, 84, after exchanging vows at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office

Gay marriage went legal today in New York. Got friends there that I hope will join in — but not without serious and sane consideration, of course. I suspect these ladies have given it plenty of that.

For those of you that disagree with the concept, I give you my very favorite bible passage:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I started to emphasize several parts of this, but decided that the whole thing speaks for itself. This is just right.


Oh my.

17 Jul

Haven’t made bread in years. It smells as amazing as I remember.


Thoughts on the Casey Anthony Verdict

05 Jul

I’ve never followed a whole trial before, from jury selection through prosecution and defense to verdict. I only watched bits of the OJ trial, even though I lived in the LA area at the time. But the media here, and especially Bay News 9 — which I’ve always used for white noise since I moved here — covered it constantly, televised it every day and did recaps all night.

When I heard the prosecution, I was sure they were going to fry her — but in the end, I couldn’t follow the chloroform bit. So I doubt the jury could either. Someone googled it, and how to make it (huh?), and it was found in the trunk of the car, but why in the hell would you use chloroform on a two-year old? Did Caylee know judo or something? She’s maybe 30 pounds, why not just use a pillow? Or, say…

Duct tape.

I don’t get why they didn’t make a bigger deal of the duct tape. That’s your smoking gun, but nobody even mentioned it in the first week. Like the medical examiner said, there’s no reason for duct tape to be on the mouth and nose of a baby. Why complicate the story with confusing chemicals?

Once the prosecution was done and the defense started… Well, first of all, Jose Baez is an idiot. Did this guy actually pass the bar? Canine search evidence is silly because dogs can’t speak English? Really? But it started bothering me that the prosecution was done, and they had mostly focused on Casey’s jacked-up behavior. Which, admittedly, was damning. But not giving a shit that your baby’s dead isn’t a felony. Partying, tattoos, obvious glee. Yes, she’s a douchebag. But they don’t execute you for that.

And seven women on the jury? Lord have mercy, people. Even if a few of them were supposedly “pro-death penalty,” this is a defense team’s dream. If Baez is an idiot, the prosecution should be rolled out of town for allowing seven (SEVEN!) women on that jury.

When it comes down to it, the prosecution’s two closing arguments should have been reversed. That’s the only thing that could’ve helped in the end. Ashton was all evidence: This is the bag she was found in. It’s part of a set. Here’s the matching piece, which was in the Anthony house. This blanket was wrapped around her. It’s part of a set. Here are the matching pillows and crib bumper, which were in the Anthony house. This is the tape that was over her nose and mouth. The rest of the roll was in the Anthony house. Evidence.

Burdick, whom I confess to sort of loving in this trial, went second and focused almost entirely on Casey’s behavior. Ending with photos of her partying and a close-up of the “Bella Vita” tattoo. All good things to consider, but not hard evidence. And if I had time, in my busy life, to realize that being the world’s worst mom isn’t a capital crime — then the jury must have gone back to sequester thinking it every day.

That’s my only guess. Should’ve left the jury with hard evidence, not just bad behavior. Don’t know if it would have made a difference.



04 Jul

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but after half a dozen experts over the course of my life tried to teach me, I finally learned to knit this spring. Much thanks to the intarwebs and sekimori, I finally have a useful addiction. And I hardly punched holes in anything while learning. Mostly.

Anyway, in googling my new obsession, I found another curious pastime. Dyeing yarn with food-grade dyes. Kool-aid, frosting tints, easter egg pellets. There are several methods, and I think I’ve tried them all now. You need heat and acid — luckily kool-aid has lots of citric acid in it, so you don’t need to add any, you just need to heat it.

For my first attempt, I put a corningware dish on the stove with hot water and yarn and just carefully sprinkled in kool-aid. This is lemonade and pink lemonade:

Keep it nice and hot (but not boiling) for a while, and when the water is clear and the colors look right, take the yarn out of the water and toss it in a colander to air cool.

When it’s room temperature, rinse it with warmish water and hang it to dry.

This is how my first attempt dried, and how it finally turned out:

I’ve done a few more since then, and knitted a few up together (since I was making small batches)

So, there you go. How I spent my summer vacation.