Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 5:31 AM

… by the latest version of the dread disease that’s going around. I knew I was a gonner when I went to a meeting with 5 people that were all sick, and then had my hair done, and she was sick, too. I’ve been mostly in bed since Sunday. Blech.

Nothing written, nothing read. Just blech.

Thank goodness #1 son is out of town until tomorrow. This is the first time since forever that I’ve been able to be sick all by myself.

Knitting by Judy @ 1:48 PM
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sock scarf

Here’s an update on my blatant rip-off of Jerry’s version of the sock scarf.

The yarn I’m using is a Peruvian wool by Cascade. The color doesn’t show very well in the pictures, but it’s a heathered green, with flecks of rust and tiny touches of turquoise.

The big pictures shows how far I’ve made it. I started at the toe end, and I’ve gone up one foot, around the heel, and up the leg until I ran out of yarn, at which point I started a new skein down the other leg. I’ve just completed the ribbing and started on the fish-tail cables.

The foot turned out a bit larger than I had really planned, but I kinda like it so I decided to leave as is. It won’t be as long as Jerry’s version. The part that I’ve finished is maybe 2-1/2′, so I expect it will be between 4-1/2 and 5′ when finished.

scarf detail

This picture shows a close-up of the fish-tail cables. They’ve been fun to do. I search around a bit to find a not-quite-ordinary pattern that would look reasonably the same “upside down” so that I could work the scarf from toe to toe.

I’m working it in fits and starts, it seems. Some days I’ll go a long way, and other days I only get a few (or no) rounds done. But I have hope that I might have it done before spring completely arrives!

As always, click on the pics to get the larger version pop-up.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 8:51 PM

Out! Out I say, lest thou be smitted with a thousand curses!

More than 250 spam comments today. That’s a new record for my little corner of the bloggosphere. Thanks to the WordPress Three Strikes pluggin, only 2 were actually posted. The rest were automatically sent to the big bit bucket in the sky. No mess, no fuss.

And it’s all coming from the same place. The same place it always comes from. Which I will not name, because damned if I’m going to help the jerk’s search ranking by providing a reference.

The big bit bucket in the sky would be too good for him.

Political Rants by Judy @ 4:07 PM
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I can only assume that there must be millions of families out there in Television Land who have TVs with broken power buttons.

Today from the Washington Post:

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a dramatic increase in fines for indecent programming, rejecting criticism the penalties will stifle free speech and homogenize radio and TV broadcasts.

Supporters said stiffer penalties are needed to give deep-pocketed broadcasters more incentive to clean up their programs and to help assure parents that their children won’t be exposed to inappropriate material.

The measure — H.R.310, titled the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 — passed The House 389-38. It increases the maximum fine for “indecent programming” from $32,500 to $500,000 for a company and from $11,000 to $500,000 for an individual entertainer. The fine applies when a

violator is determined by the Commission under paragraph (1) to have uttered obscene, indecent, or profane material.

Although The House did not stoop to actually defining “obscene, indecent, or profane,” they did strongly suggest that reimplementing a “family viewing hour” would be a desirable thing.

“This is a penalty that makes broadcasters sit up and take notice,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee that sent the bill to the full House. “This legislation makes great strides in making it safe for families to come back into their living room.”

The reason that I’m assuming that there are so many broken TVs out there in America that can’t be turned off is that hitting the power switch is such a simple and effective way of making sure that your family is “safe” from whatever it is you don’t want them to watch. Many TVs and cable services also come complete with parental control features that make it possible to block certain types of programming. While they may not have blocked a split-second glimpse of Janet Jackson’s pastie-covered nipple, I’ve always found parental constrols to be pretty darn effective (just ask # 1 son).

Voting with my pocketbook — i.e. turning the damn thing off — has always seemed a lot more effective to me than having some bozo in Congress tell me what I can and can’t watch. And it seems “safer” besides.

We can only hope that either (1) The House and Senate cannot agree on a combined bill (as last year) or (2) it will be struck down as too broad anyway.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:33 PM

It’s Monday. But today is Valentine’s Day, and it was a free coffee day, so it’s a good day. I like Valentine’s Day. I don’t expect to have a lot of Valentines, and that’s OK. It gives me an excuse to go around smiling at people and eating chocolate. Not that I don’t do that anyway… but today I have a good excuse.

Not much accomplished over the weekend except a lot of knitting on my sock scarf. I’m about 1/2 way done. How do I know? Because I’ve used about 1/2 of my available yarn. 🙂 I started at one toe, and I’ve turned the heel and gone up the leg and done the top ribbing, and just started down the other side. The instep and leg are worked in fishtail cables. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use that pattern and this looked like a reasonable one. I’ll post a pic soon.

I also managed to get “my stuff” cleaned out of the Outback, henceforth designated as “#1 Son’s Car” even though he can’t yet officially drive it without me. I promise to warn the greater Portland Metro area when that day arrives.

Political Rants by Judy @ 1:40 PM

Heard on the radio this morning: US pharmaceutical companies are not happy with online Canadian pharmacies that cater to US citizens by selling them drugs at reduced prices. Said pharmaceuticals are in the process of “cracking down” on our neighbors to the north. Merc has already stated that it will no longer sell drugs to any online pharmacy that sells across the border.

Now, we’ve heard all kinds of reasons for this in the past, mostly having to do with safety issues. When these drugs cross a border — any border — they suddenly become unsafe for Americans to consume.

When I was little, I had an aunt who was convinced that “night air” was harmful. After the sun went down, she made sure to go around her house and close up all the windows. And don’t dare sleep with a window open! Oh, no! That harmful night air will get you every time. But, aunty I would protest, its exactly the same atmosphere I breathe all day. I was unable to ever convince her it was safe.

I like to think of the “unsafe drugs” theory as the night air of the pharmaceutical industry.

But this time I think we hit a little closer to the truth: According to the radio piece I heard, he pharmaceutical companies are unhappy about the loss of revenue caused by the mass exodus across the border to the land overflowing with cheaper medication. Oh. Darn. I feel so sorry for them.

It will be interesting to see the Bush Administration take on this, given his supposed adherence to good, old-fashion supply-side Reaganomics. Cutting off the supply of the Canadian pharmacies pretty well flies in the face of the trickle-down effect.

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