Friday, May 30, 2008

Socks and Cats

Not to be confused with Socks the cat...

I've been trying to finish up UFO's (unfinished objects) and I did manage to do the finishing on 3 pairs of socks.

I don't want to tie in any more ends on socks.

The lump on Cat's chin was cancer, but the vet thinks they removed it all.

a Barack Obama

I notice that political commentators and pundits often use the expression "a Barack Obama" -- as in the question:

"Will white working class men vote for a Barack Obama?"

I know who Barack Obama is, but I'm not sure what "a Barack Obama" is.
(Who besides Barack Obama is "a Barack Obama?
If no one, why not just say "Barack Obama"?)

Usually, such an expression turns a name into a predicate, a description.

To say someone is "a Fred Astair" would be to say he's a great dancer.
To say someone is "a Harry Houdini" is to say that he is a magician or escape artist.

It seems that when you predicate a proper name of someone, you are saying that that individual possesses the salient characteristics of the bearer of that name.
(I hope that clears things up!)

So, what does it mean to say that someone is "a Barack Obama"?
What are Obama's salient characteristics?
What other words describe "an Obama"?
"...a senator"? "...a good speaker"? "a magnetic leader"?

No pundit is going to bother to ask whether working class white men will vote for a senator, a good speaker, a magnetic leader, etc.

Given the contexts in which this expression appears, I think that "a Barack Obama" is a black guy with a funny name.

And I think that people that use that expression are raising the issue of race while trying not to be too obvious about it.

If I'm wrong, tell me what "a Barack Obama" is.

To be fair, people sometimes say "a Hillary Clinton," and even "a John McCain" once in a while.

I guess "a John McCain" is an old white Republican guy, but I'm not sure what "a Hillary Clinton" is supposed to be. Maybe a woman. "Former first lady" seems too particular.

My hunch is that, for the most part, media people started using those expressions after they started using "a Barack Obama" as a euphemism, and they do this to try to appear as if they are talking about all 3 candidates in the same way.

Though I'd have to go back and study the tapes to be sure.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Trip to the see the Sandle Crayons

My crane kicked Jan's crane's ASS!!
That's Nebraska for you.

I think I see some cranes!
Or maybe they're flying monkeys...

more pics

Here are some things I've made in the past few weeks.Baby socks.
Pink and white booties.
All the booties for Sewing for Babies.
2 afghans for Sewing for Babies made from Red Heart Strata. The pastel one is crocheted in side-saddle on the bias, and the bright one is made from 12 squares of half double crochet in 4 different color-ways. Love the stripes.
4 afghans out of Bright and Lofty (and some Homespun) for the nieces for Christmas.
Cats with his collar after his lump-ectomy.
He's doing good.
I'll find out about the biopsy next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Out of Touch

I haven't been on the internet much because I've had a series of computer problems. Now my main computer is in the hands of my computer repair man, and hopefully it will be all fixed soon.

My cat has a tumor under his chin and he's going to have it taken off and biopsied tomorrow.
The big sweetie is sitting on my lap right now. I'm a little worried.

I made 3 quilt tops and am not sure how to finish them.

I made several pairs of baby booties for Sewing for Babies.

I'll post pics when I get my computer back.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earth, Wind, and Fire

...and water.

Earthquake in China
Tornados in the South and Mid-western parts of the US
Flooding in the North East
Fires in Florida
Cyclone in Burma

It's been a tough couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Losing Your Bearings

So Obama says McCain is losing his bearings because McCain suggested that an Obama victory would be good news to Hamas. (You can see the full CNN interview here.)

And a McCain aide fires back that this was a hypocrical, ageist remark.
You can read about that here.

My question is:
What's a bearing, and what have you lost when you've lost yours?
I looked up "bearings" and found two meanings:
  • in navigation, the direction one object is from another object, especially the direction of an object from one's own vessel.
  • in mechanics, a device to permit constrained relative motion between two parts, typically rotation or linear movement.
If bearings is thought of in the mechanical sense, "losing your bearings" reminds me of losing ball bearings, which seems like "losing your marbles," which sometimes happens to people when they get old. It certainly would be quite an insult, and perhaps ageist, to say of an elderly political candidate that he has lost his marbles.

If bearings is thought of in the navigational sense, as it traditionally has been, in expressions such as "get your bearings," "find your bearings," and of course, "lose your bearings," then to say someone has lost his bearings is to say that he has lost his sense of his position relative to other people's positions.

So, if you were to implicitly criticize some one's political position, and it turns out that he holds the same political position as you do, it would be fair to say that you have lost your bearings. You're talking as if someone is a great distance from you, when actually he's at the same place as you are on this issue. Incidentally, in the next sentence after the "losing his bearings" remark, Obama stated that he and McCain have the same stance with respect to Hamas.

To say that someone has lost their sense of the political landscape is not an especially ageist remark as far as I know. So, it doesn't strike me as a "not particularly clever way" to raise the issue of age, since it's not a way to raise the issue of age at all.

...unless Obama was hoping we would be confused between ball bearings and relative position, as Leiberman seemed to be.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Latest Donations

I made 7 baby blankets and a pair of socks for afghans for Afghans Newborn Campaign. Here are some pictures...

Here's the overview. The cat will not be included, though he may try to jump in the box.

Here are two hats Shaun knit, a pair of child's knit socks, and an crocheted blanket. The Fair Isle hat was knit for me by my mother a long time ago. She made it to go with a sweater she made me that I still have, though it doesn't fit me any more. I crocheted the edging and the straps on the hat. Mom hated to crochet, so she had me finish it.
The blanket and the socks are made with Paton's Merino, which I really enjoy working with. The blanket is done in what I call "from the corner side-saddle stitch" in a blue tweed with a solid blue border. In all of the projects I tried to use as much animal fiber in green as I could. The animal fiber is for warmth, and the green is the Afghan's preferred color, so I've heard.

Here is a blanket made with various mohair and mohair blends worked in single crochet over a strand of thick and thin wool yarn, something called "Ultra". The Ultra is the dark blue you see poking through the other colors. It's thickness varies so much, I wasn't sure how to make a solid, warm blanket out of it. I decided to use mohair with it, so that fluff would fill in any spaces, and to use it as an inclusion rather than to crochet with it. The result of using various yarns in this way was a really wonky, rustic looking blanket, but I like it.

Here's a 12 patch blanket -- 12 ten inch squares of double crochet in various yarns.

This is a very scrappy blanket done with odds and ends of Lopi. I inherited the Lopi from my mother, and I guess this means that I am not going to finish the sweaters she started. Sorry Mom. It's for a good cause. It's crocheted in rows of linked trebles, which makes a very solid dense fabric. It might work better as a rug. I like the blocky way it looks, though in retrospect, I wish I had broken up that yellow.
I spent a lot of time on this one, but it was a lot of fun. It is another 12 patch, but all done in Felt It! felting yarn (but it's not felted). Each block is done in a different stitch: two are knitted -- one stockinet, the other garter stitch on the bias, one is done in afghan stitch, one is done with in "crochet on the double" with a double ended hook, and the others are various crochet stitches. I used mostly one colorway, and it was fun to see how the print looked different with each technique.
This is a crocheted ripple in Paton's Merino, blue and blue tweed again. Thanks to Michaels for putting those colors on sale.

I also made a solid olive green blanket in double crochet, also with my mom's Lopi. It came out nice, but simple and not really interesting to see.

The deadline for sending donations to this campaign is 5/19, so I guess this is it.
But Cathy was supposed to give me another hat!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Nancy sent me these pictures of afghans that I crocheted being distributed to children in Afghanistan.

Nancy knows someone who is stationed in Afghanistan, and she sends him things for the children over there.

I do most of my knitting and crocheting for charity.

I make things for the Lincoln City Mission, Sewing for Babies, and afghans for Afghans.


I've made myself plenty of things, and there's nothing that I'm dying to make myself recently.

I've made many things for friends and family, and I don't think anyone really needs anything right now. They certainly don't need anything as much as a child in Afghanistan needs a blanket.

There are probably better ways I could be charitable, but this one is pretty good.

I manage to pare down my huge stash of yarn, or use donated or inexpensive yarn, and make something of value.

If you want to help, contact me.

You can donate yarn and I will turn it into usable practical items that someone needs.

If you knit or crochet, you can knit or crochet a square. I'm making baby blankets from 10x10 inch squares. It takes 12 squares to make a child's blanket. If it's natural animal fiber, it's for Afghanistan; If it's synthetic, it's for Sewing for Babies.