Thursday, February 05, 2004

Standing Up for What's Right

"I believe firmly that we must do everything in our power to assure that all citizens of the United States are afforded equal rights under the law -- and that includes gay as well as straight couples. As Governor of Vermont, I was proud to sign the nation's first law establishing civil unions for same-sex
couples. Today's decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court represents a different approach to the same goal. One way or another, states should afford same-sex couples equal treatment under law in areas such as health insurance, hospital visitation and inheritance rights.

"Some in Washington will use this decision to justify the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This would be the first constitutional amendment to authorize discrimination, and I oppose it. Marriage is a matter of state law, and gay bashing has no place in the

-- Gov. Dr. Howard Dean.

Go elect this man president.


I just came up with a neat idea for knitting two shawls at once. I was walking past a co-worker who looked cold and thought "I should knit her a shawl", then thought "but the Crayola shawl took so long", and then thought, "that's because garter stitch is so squat", and then thought "wouldn't a stockinette shawl be easier because the stitch is taller", and then thought, "but I'd have to knit back and forth for that, which would take even longer, but if I did a circular shawl, that's twice the shawl's worth to knit".

With me so far?

And then, and this is where the Cool! idea comes in, I thought, why not knit a circular shawl with a steek, and cut it into two semi-circular shawls, then pick up and edge the steeked side?

Two gifts in the timespan for a nice circular shawl. I'm going to have to try this.

Cast on 3, or 9 sts, join for the center of a circular shawl.
Follow Elizabeth Zimmerman's rules for increasing, but break the pattern at two points in the circle, exactly opposite from one another, with about 4 or 6 stitchs plain.

That's your steek.

Knit the shawl however you're going to knit it.

When the shawl is complete and ready for binding off on its circular edge, you can

a. Edge that puppy, but split the edging so that each semi-circle has its own edging that doesn't need to be cut.

b. move all the stitches onto a very long ribbon so the whole thing can lay flat. If you do this, you'll edge both the steek side and the circular side of each shawl.

Cut the steek, machine stitching or whatever as necessary.

You now have two complete separate semi-circles, with or without edging of any kind.

Pick up stitches on the first semi-circle, and edge the straight (cut) side however you're going to edge it. That'll go over someone's neck. Edge the circular side if you haven't done that already. I like Zimmerman's garter-stitch edging.

Pick up stitches on the second semi-circle, and edge its straight side, and its circular side, as desired.

If you followed two different patterns on each side of the steeks, you could create two completely different semi-circular shawls, and never do anything other than a simple knit stitch!

I gotta try this.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Censure the President

In an attempt to escape responsibility for the misleading statements that led the nation to war, President Bush has announced plans to form an independent inquiry to look into what went wrong. An inquiry would serve the Bush administration well: it would envelop the issue in a fog of uncertainty, deflect blame onto the intelligence services, and push any political damage into 2005, after the upcoming election.
But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed. And now that reality is setting in, the President seeks to pin the blame on someone else. We can't let him.

Congress has the power to censure the President -- to formally reprimand him for his betrayal of the nation's trust. If ever there was a time to use this function, it is now. Join the call for Congress to censure President Bush now at:

Censure the President

Monday, February 02, 2004

Ashcroft to Congress: Bring 'Em On

Grabbed from Politech:

Were Congress to vote to amend the USA Patriot Act, Ashcroft indicated, President Bush would veto the bill.

Ashcroft's letter to Congress:

ACLU's response:


Pain in the ASS

Do you know how irritating it is to live a dairy-free lifestyle in America? Even my fricking calcium supplements have "sweetened condensed milk" in them. I don't know how I missed that to begin with, but jeez.

Fortunately, I adore non-Western cuisines, which tend to be dairy-free or darn close to it.

Also fortunately, TBoLS is putting the spawn on a GFCF diet (gluten and casein free), which lead to a discussion about milk proteins and allergies, and may have pinpointed that it is casein or another common milk protein to which I am allergic. Yeah, someday maybe I'll go to an allergist, but I'm betting that'll be when I have, like, health coverage, for starters. Thanks, President Bush! For losing all those jobs. Sincerely, A Concerned Voter.)

So, realizing that it's gotta be this casein stuff that keeps setting me off, I did a little Googling and found:

Eating Without Casein: A Practical Primer for People with Allergies to Milk, which was very helpful and directed me to the Holy Grail for women who avoid chocolate because of dairy: The Chocolate Emporium and Chocolate Decadance. Looks yummy!
Hello, Election-Tampering!


...For an unknown reason, the computerized tally program had begun to award votes for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to Burton, a socialist from Southern California.
Similar mishaps have occurred across the country since election officials embraced electronic voting in the wake of the Florida vote-counting debacle of 2000.
When Californians go to the polls next month to choose a presidential candidate, many voters will cast a virtual ballot by pressing a computer touch screen that records their votes digitally. The only tangible proof that a citizen has voted -- and how he voted -- will be fingerprints left on the machine's screen.
Electronic voting removes the risk of election officials misinterpreting hanging chads. But it raises another electoral peril: that a digital ballot box might miscount votes without anyone noticing.