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Showing posts from May, 2009

A rant on the structure of our economy

This is a rant. While it may be based on some articles that I have read lately, don't expect me to link to references.

I believe that we have a severe structural problem in our economy and as a result, people are not getting value for their money, specifically for their tax dollars.

In my opinion, we have become a two class society, but it's not the classes you might think, rich and poor. It's people with security and people without.

I think of the people at the auto shop who repair my car. They do excellent work. Whatever health insurance they have, though, is whatever the business owner can afford to buy in the private sector. And whatever retirement they have beyond Social Security must be financed with money that they invest themselves.

Good luck with both of those things.

Meanwhile, I have a defined benefit government pension and a decent government health insurance plan. I pay for part of my insurance, but the rest is paid with tax dollars. Tax dollars paid by me, but als…

Summer is icumen in

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Ever so surely, the good weather is coming. It's still pretty cool - those who have planted their tomatoes and basil are covering them nearly every night up here, and we had a fire in the woodstove last night. When it is still light out at 8:30, though, you know that the warmest part of spring should arrive soon.

I spent several hours during last week getting our sails ready for use. Both our mainsail and our primary headsail are getting a bit long in the tooth, and usually need some repairs before sailing season starts in earnest. This year the mainsail passed inspection, but the genoa needed long stretches of new edge facings on both of the edges that are exposed to wind and wear. The genoa is a huge sail, and very heavy, so sewing the facings on is arduous even though the sewing itself is very simple. I folded the sails after inspection and repairs - the only time they will be neatly folded all year. Assuming that we don't need to take them down during the summer, they'l…

Knitting Blog: Kimono Jacket

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Whew! I just finished the kimono sweater that I started in January. Of course, I finished it just as the weather is getting so warm that I will hardly be able to wear it for months. The weather took pity on me today, though, and brought us a very chilly and windy day. So, instead of moving our sailboat from its winter to its summer home, I wore my new sweater.

One of the dilemmas of knitting for me is choosing a pattern. I collect patterns by the gross, with subscriptions to three knitting magazines and regular purchases of pattern books. Sifting the wheat from the chaff has been a problem for me, though. Over the years, I have probably knit at least as many duds as flattering sweaters for myself. I finally have figured out what looks good on me. It must be pretty closely fitted, and I look best in colorful clothes.

The new sweater is no dud, I am very pleased to announce.

The sweater was designed by Celeste Pinhiero and was the cover sweater for the Fall 2006 issue of Knitter's Maga…

Change in policy

I have changed my comment settings to make it much easier to make comments. No need to have a Google account. No moderation. I have set it up so that there will be a captcha.

Let's face it, I don't get enough comments to make it hard on anyone who does wish to take the time to leave a few words behind.

Sweet Surprises

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My daughter was home last week. The time flew, with a trip to visit my mother, epic shopping for summer clothes, movie watching, and other fun family busyness. She and I also collaborated on a project: baking massive amounts of cookies to share with friends.

Some of my Internet friends have added her to their friends' lists since both she and I joined Twitter. And some of our friends have been going through some major life changes of late. We decided to send out some boxes of cheer to a few folks who we thought could benefit from a smile.

Inspiration for a gift to Internet friends came from the Internet, specifically the blog of AnnaTheRed. She makes amazing bento boxes for her boyfriend's lunches. A sample:



She has made several bentos based on a movie that A. and I truly adore, My Neighbor Totoro. This is a movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki that is pure magic, set in the Japanese countryside. I suspect that the rural Japanese landscape and way of life it depicts have become hard …