Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Complaint and My Solution

"Contraception to be re-classified as a form of abortion by the Bush administration."

I received this link in an email from a friend.

Now, I am the person who receives chain emails from friends with the question, "Is this for real?" This is because I can remember the names of the websites to check, the most popular being

So I read the letter included with the above link, and then I read the page that the link opened up, and I poked around on the website and finally sent them a letter complaining that their campaigns don't have dates on them.

But this didn't satisfy me. In fact, I became quite suspicious when Snopes didn't have anything on the issue. So I went poking around the internet and finally found this. Pretty obviously, this article, dated August 11, 2008, is the one referenced by the website for the petition.

This, however, is a much better tool than the MoveOn petition. It's clearer, enumerates the problem, and even has a date on it. It's still pretty poor.

So here is the link to the actual draft. Yes, it's a PDF. You could find it yourself if you knew enough to use "Ensuring that Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices In Violation of Federal Law" as a search term in your favorite search engine. The same search would have brought you to this site. (Of course, selecting the appropriate set of words to search for is only possible after you've found what you're looking for.)

And it is in that actual draft that I found all kinds of information about leaving comments - including the extraordinarily important dates. I quote: "Submit written or electronic comment on the regulations proposed by this document by September 25, 2008."

I would really have appreciated it if MoveOn or Planned Parenthood had given me a link to the actual proposal. In fact, I really would have appreciated it if the Houston Chronicle had given me a link to the proposed rule. The BBC always includes links to related sites. In this age of unsubstantiated claims, anything less looks like an attempt to manipulate or deceive.

And it's only going to get worse as election season continues, isn't it?

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Me Too!

I've been reading the "Booking Through Thursday" questions for a long time, but I've never managed to answer one here, even though they seem easier to answer than the SP12 questions.

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

I wouldn't admit this in a literature class. In fact, it's not always true. But when I ran across this I was so happy to discover I'm not alone that I must admit it's true most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I like a good characterization. When I find a book that has incredible characterizations I really appreciate it. But mostly that's why I read.

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Dear Idiot

Dear Idiot.

YouTube does not work well on a dialup internet connection. If you must, try Do not call your dialup internet provider and complain that it's too slow. Go buy broadband. From someone who will shut you off when you don't pay your bill. Now. Go away. Especially since you just bought a brand-new computer running Windows Vista. Or did you steal that, too?

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have (a while ago) signed up on Plurk.

I haven't quite figured it out yet.

But if you're curious, I'm here.

There's a widget down to the right, if you're really bored!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Overdue Photos - Thank You Secret Pal

I generally have a rule for myself. I may not use anything from my secret pal packages until I've taken photos.

That's an absolutely unbreakable rule for candy.

I thanked my SP for the package off-line and promised photos. was 6 balls of yarn, not a scarf and 4 balls of yarn.

Really. She would not have stolen from me the pleasure of knitting that scarf. The yarn I turned into Harlot's one row scarf is two skeins of Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) on size US11/8mm needles. That was lovely yarn. It made great airplane knitting. I almost finished the whole thing flying one way from Hartford, CT to Las Vegas, NV.

The other lovely yarns are Patons Kory Socks and something I'd never seen before - Debbie Mumm Traditions. Debbie Mumm appears to be the JoAnn Fabrics house brand, and it looks like it's meant to be a Noro knock-off. Um, Noro is nice stuff, but I've never gotten my hands on any Noro that was as soft as this. (Oooh! An excuse to go fondle a skein of Silk Garden! Nope, not as soft.) And this is superwash. I like it!

Thank you Secret Pal!

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Friday, August 15, 2008


Yes, I'm alive.

For some silly reason I thought I'd blog from Vegas. Don't ask me what I was thinking. I have no idea. I spent the week at a conference and had a great time.

I owe you pictures of the second box I received from my Secret Pal. I sent a thank you and then knitted two skeins of yarn on the plane despite my intent to never use anything from my package until I've taken pictures. So when the photos eventually arrive here, there will be four skeins of yarn and a scarf, instead of the actual package contents of six skeins of yarn.

If that doesn't show I liked it, I don't know what will!

We had no power at my house for several hours this week. A local road was closed while they took care of the tree that was jealous of the phone poles. You have to enlarge this photo to actually see the tree - it's between the two utility vehicles. What you see in this photo is actually a leaning phone pole next to the tree. It was closer to cleared up than not when I took this photo.

I'm still re-setting stuff on timers. Since I got a battery-powered alarm clock, I haven't had any nervous nights over potentially missed alarms due to mid-night power outages.

I'm two questions behind in the SP12 questions of the week.

Question #9:
Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair? Would you ever consider it?

Well. Let's see. No, I never have. We don't have a fair in this town, but we do in the town where I grew up (one town over). I think if I were going to enter my knitting in a fair I wouldn't do it there - I might do one of the larger regional fairs. If a bunch of friends were doing it, I might be more likely to bother. I don't generally go to fairs. Fairs are OK, just not the first thing on my list. I've never regretted giving a fair a miss.

Question #10
What Olympic event would best describe your knitting/knitting style?

In order to come up with some sort of answer to this, I really am going to have to think waaaaay outside the box, aren't I? Gaaaah. This is why I am not a successful writer. I'm too literal. I can knit pretty quickly, but I'm not up to Olympic speeds, so I guess that leaves out swimming, the luge, speed skating, ski jump, etc. Sometimes I do cables, so I guess that would be gymnastics? But what's lace? Javelin? And I rarely ever do colorwork, which maybe is more like couples ice skating? I have no idea how to answer this question. Obviously I should've surfed everyone else's answers and come up with something utilizing everyone else's creativity!

I'm sure there's more to say. I just have no idea what that might be at the moment.

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