Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eastwick Tonight!


Eastwick will be on tonight! It may be the last episode (I read that somewhere, but I'm hoping there's at least one more).

Before you watch Eastwick, though, tune in to ABC Family at 7:30 and watch Practical Magic! If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat, and I can promise you that if you like Eastwick, you'll also like Practical Magic.

I have more I'd like to write about, but I want to get this info up right away, so I'll write the rest later.

In the meantime, have a great next-to-last day of the year, and also a great New Year's Eve. If the weather isn't too bad, I expect to be out doing things tomorrow so don't expect a post.

Oh, and enjoy the movie and Eastwick!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No Dentist Today!

When I woke up today, the message light was flashing on my phone. The dentist's helper called to tell me that the lab hadn't finished with my permanent caps, so there was no point in coming in today. I called back to make a new appointment, but we're playing phone tag now.

There was a lot of other stuff that I planned to do today while I was out at the dentist. Then I checked a couple of things and got sucked in to a thread on Ravelry, and here it is after 4 pm, and I still haven't done anything. I do need to do something today, even if it isn't all the stuff I intended to accomplish today!

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Tomorrow night on ABC seems to be the last episode of Eastwick. I'm really sorry to see it go! Feel free to ask ABC to continue it, but I don't think ABC cares.

I've heard a rumor that somebody at the CW was thinking of picking it up. Feel free to contact them, too. On Facebook, there's a Save Eastwick page, a Lifetime Save Eastwick page to encourage Lifetime to pick up Eastwick, a Petition to Save Eastwick page, and another Save Eastwick page.

On Twitter, you can follow @SaveEastwick, @save_eastwick or @eastwickgazette. Spread the word!

I'm looking forward to the next Doctor Who episode this weekend! The BBC in America is starting the new year right with Christmas Invasion at the stroke of the new year on Friday at midnight (here)! This will be followed by New Earth, Tooth and Claw, School Reunion, The Girl in the Fireplace, Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel, The Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, Gridlock, Daleks in Manhattan, Evolution of the Daleks, The Lazarus Experiment, Human Nature, The Family of Blood, Blink, Utopia, The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords, Partners in Crime, The Fires of Pompeii, Planet of the Ood, The Sontaran Stratagem, The Poison Sky, The Doctor's Daughter, Voyage of the Damned, The Unicorn and the Wasp, Silence in the Library/Forrest of the Dead, Midnight, Turn Left, The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, The End of Time Part 1, David Tenent Special, and The End of Time Part 2! By this time, we'll be finishing the last episode at 10 pm on Saturday, when they will be premiering a new show called Demons. It looks interesting! Then they'll be repeating a lot of it until 5 am on Sunday morning.

This year won't have anything but Doctor Who on BBC in America until early Sunday morning! Sometimes, I really love the BBC!

You really have to check your local schedules for all this!

Don't-miss episodes include Tooth and Claw (the founding of Torchwood!), School Reunion (Sarah Jane is back!), The Girl in the Fireplace (a fabulous love story), Blink (the best horror story ever!), The Doctor's Daughter (she's wonderful!), Silence in the Library/Forrest of the Dead (a horror/love story), Turn Left/The Stolen Earth/Journey's End (everyone gets involved), The Next Doctor (a Christmas story), and of course, Parts one and two of The End of Time.

I should mention that if you aren't a Doctor Who fan, you should DVR Blink. The story wouldn't be possible without time travel, and, thus, the Doctor, but he plays a very peripheral role in this. This is a show where they've taken something totally innocent and made it into a horror story. It's one of the neatest little horror stories I've ever seen, and I'm particularly tickled that all the horror is generated out of nothing. I've watched a lot of horror shows and movies, but this is the only one that has raised goose bumps for me. And it stands alone. You don't have to be a Doctor Who fan to enjoy and understand it.

If you're really into horror, don't miss Silence in the Library/Forrest of the Dead. The Doctor says "All over the universe, people have an irrational fear of the dark. But it's not irrational." This is another one where horror is created out of nothing.

I really have to get going and get something done! I may not post tomorrow or Thursday because I'll be doing all the things I should have been doing today!

Have a great evening and don't miss Eastwick tomorrow!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Today is, I'm sure, a lot of things, but the best one for me is my daughter, Holly's birthday.

Here's a photo of her from last Christmas, of her opening a present.


Here's a link to the words for the Birthday Dirge, just for her!

She's been a wonderful kid, and my best friend, and without a doubt, the best Christmas present I ever got!

Happy Birthday Holly!

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I would usually wait for the day that this is going to happen to talk about it, but I don't want anyone to miss it, so I'm going to talk about it now.


On New Year's Eve, we will have a blue moon, and I thought that was wonderful, but there will also be an eclipse of the moon on the same night! Wow!

Unfortunately, it will be, at best, only a partial eclipse here in the US.

Even more unfortunately, they're predicting rain all day New Year's Eve and into New Year's Day for here, but there might be some of you out there who will be able to see it.

There is controversy about the definition of a blue moon, too, but this one seems to fit some of the definitions. It's definitely the first one of this season, though, since the solstice was last week.

Anyway, if you have any chance of seeing it where you are, please enjoy it for me because the weatherman says I won't get to see it!

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While I was busy gathering information about eclipses and blue moons, I happened to come across a very clear, but funny article about "brain farts," and I thought you'd be interested.

There's been a thread on Ravelry entitled "I am a complete idiot." You can read the thread here if you're a member of Ravelry.

If nothing else, it'll give you a lot of technical jargon that you can use to explain what happened next time you have a brain fart!

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I probably won't be writing tomorrow due to the appointment I have with the dentist.

What is expected for this visit is that he will remove the temporary caps, put a filling in a cavity right next to one of the caps, and then give me the finished caps. That means I should be done with all the dental work I need now and be completely up-to-date and OK!

It also probably means that I'll be feeling bad tomorrow night, but will be probably be OK (or close to OK) on Wednesday.

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In the meantime, there will be a new episode of Eastwick on Wednesday! I'm so excited that it's not completely over! The last episode ended with all three of our heroines at the brink of death!

Have fun on the last Monday of this year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Second Day of Christmas

According to people in Medieval Europe, today is the second day of Christmas. You were supposed to give a small present on the firs day, and a bigger present on each succeeding day of Christmas until, on the twelfth night, you gave the biggest present.

I spent yesterday watching mostly Christmas schlock on TV and knitting Christmas presents.

I had a great dinner and lots of phone calls from friends, but I didn't go out or have any visitors or get a chance to get or give presents due to rain! Lots of rain!

Yes, presents are not done.

I still have several people to finish presents for, but I did put the finishing touches on a few presents that I finished knitting last night:


I put a hole in this to stick the other end of the scarf through so that it stays in place better. The knitting on this was done before I went to sleep last night, and I added the trim around the edges today.

Here are the mitts that go with it. They can be worn on either hand, so I always knit three of them so that when you lose one of them, you still have a pair. Unless I'm knitting them for Malaia, that is. I've decided to knit four of them for her ever since she managed to lose two of them at once. Anyway, here they are:


And since they don't look too good unless they're modeled, I put one on and held it in front of the Christmas tree for a photo:


And I know that I showed you this photo the other day, but here's the hat that goes with it:


This set is for the daughter, Jan, of my friend, Jeff. I hope she likes it!

I've actually finished a lot of presents (there's a large box full of them, and that's not all), but I haven't been showing them to you because the people they're for read my blog. You'll get to see photos of them after they've been given.

Now on to finish some more presents.

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BBC in America is having another big Doctor Who day, starting at 6:30 here. They'll be showing Planet of the Dead, Waters of Mars, the premier of The End of Time Part 1, Doctor Who Inside Look, and a Graham Norton Doctor Who Special, in that order. Big day for the Doctor! Check your schedules!

Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

For all you Twilight fans, here is a Christmas Seven Bella Swans aswimming.

For fiberartists, I didn't know that orb-weaver spiders decorate their webs (possibly for Christmas?), until I read this.

For Doctor Who fen, here's an article about the special that will be on BBC in America on Saturday. Be sure to read the comments!

Obviously, this is a joke:


This isn't a joke, but it's funny:


Ditto!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve!

Just wanted to wish everybody a Merry Christmas!

For those of you who are really anxious, here's a link to NORAD, which is currently tracking Santa's progress. At the moment I'm writing this, he's in Shannon, Ireland!

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BBC in America has been busy today serving up lots of Christmas cheer in the form of a Vicar of Dibley special, where Geraldine falls in love and gets married! Followed by two Doctor Who Christmas specials, and then Backadder's Christmas Carol!

There's most of the usual stuff on TV tonight, although it's all reruns, but still, lots to enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!

Douglas Adams commented on the ability of the human race to constantly state and restate the very obvious. I'm without a doubt a case in point.

Tomorrow is, indeed, Christmas Eve.

I've also turned into an awful drudge, knitting like a crazy person, trying to get everything done by Christmas. I haven't gotten addresses for my two granddaughters, so even though their presents are done, they're not sent, so they're obviously not going to get them for Christmas.

I did finish the hat for Jeff's daughter, Jan, and I've progressed to the mitts and scarf to match it. Here's what the hat looks like.


If there's interest, either here on on Ravelry, I'll write this up as a pattern and make it available. If you'd like to make the set, leave a comment.

This is the plainer, easier version of the hat I made for someone else this Christmas, but I think it's very pretty.

The beginning of the scarf looks like this:


I originally thought that the yarn was too heavy for mitts, and wanted to find matching yarn in a lighter weight, but the only stuff I could find was $7 per ball, and I'd need two of them. So, I tried a mitt with the yarn from the hat and scarf, and it turned out better than I expected.

Here's a photo of the first mitt, not finished. I still have to darn in the ends and add the trim at the cuff.


This is from my Long, Short, and Easy Mitts pattern. When this one seemed to be going well, I decided to knit two more of them, and then knit the scarf until I ran out of yarn, however long that turned out to be. So, the next projects in order are: two more mitts and then knit the scarf. After that, I'll crochet the edge trim on the scarf and then the mitt cuffs.

I think this is going to be a fabulous present.

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I ran across an interesting discussion on Ravelry about outrageous signs that people had seen. Here are a few I liked:


These people have everything you need for a shotgun wedding:


And this one wasn't on the Ravelry discussion, but I thought it fit the season:

You may not hear from me until after the weekend, so let me wish you a Merry Christmas now. Or a happy anything-you're-celebrating right now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter!

Today is the Winter Solstice, otherwise known as the first day of winter. It's the shortest day of the year, and things can only get brighter from here (until the Summer Solstice). Anyway, from here on in, we'll be getting more light every day!

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I've been working on the stuff for Jeff's daughter, finally! He asked for a scarf for her, but she'll at least be getting a hat, too. I've started with the hat. It will be similar to one I made before, and I intend to write up this pattern and sell it, along with a matching scarf, so keep tuned if you're interested.



The photo is upside down from the way it would look while you're knitting it, but the cuff you see is the way it will be viewed on the actual hat when worn. The cuff is right side out and right side up. This particular cuff is a real mobius, and I think it's going to be neat. I know it looks plain now, but it's going to get a lot better.

Although the cuff is the right way around, I'm now knitting with the inside facing me. The short section of ribbing will make it fit better, and right after the photo was taken, I switched to St St, which put the reverse (purl) side on the right side of the hat.

The yarn is Lion Brand Jiffy yarn in Purple Spray, and it's going to take two balls, along with some matching Cello yarn from JoAnn Fabrics. The hat itself is going to be the same general shape as the one below, but a lot easier to knit, and almost as impressive.


At this point, I'm thinking that it would be good to make just a hat and scarf from this yarn, and try to find a matching yarn in a lighter weight. I really don't like the idea of using yarn that's that heavy for mitts. Mittens would work well in the Jiffy yarn, though. Hmmm... I'm writing all this as if I have enough time to actually finish it by Christmas.

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I'm changing my viewpoint on selling patterns. I keep getting requests for PDFs, and I think I'm finally going to break down and sell patterns that way. It eliminates the cost of having them printed, which is a plus for me. I'm also running out of wimple and hood patterns, so it's a way to keep going with that.

I've also been writing patterns that can be knit in any weight yarn because that seems to be the best way to do it to me. I do a lot of things that way. I've found, over my years of being a professional artist, that even other artists don't think the way I do. I see the shape of the finished garment in my mind, and then knit or crochet it that way. And doing it that way means that it's possible to write it for any weight yarn because the shape is the same.

But nobody else seems to want to do it that way. So, if I do it the way everybody else is doing it, I can write a pattern for each particular item, not just for all of them with directions for modifications.

Anyway, this hat is going to be beautiful, and I can't wait to see it finished!

Lately, I'm finding that I seem to want to do something different each time. Previously, I've been knitting a lot of things that were very similar. I guess we all evolve.

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Not much on TV tonight except The Big Bang Theory, which sounds like it's not Christmassy, but about buying presents, so it's really Christmassy in a way. Then again, I haven't seen it, even though it's a rerun, so I really couldn't say.

I have to get some stuff mailed out, but I also have to get back to knitting, so that's it for now.

Have a terrific Christmas week!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day!

Yesterday was a snow day. If you've been watching the weather forecasts, you know what happened, since I live on the East coast.

I woke up to about four inches of snow on my windowsill, which built up to about eight inches over the course of the day. I think it would have gone higher, but the sill is narrow, and I don't think any more snow could stay there.

Visibility was bad, and although the snow was actually falling, it was going sideways faster than it was falling.


The streaks from upper right to the left are the falling snow. They're pretty hard to see, but the flag lets you see how hard the wind was blowing.

This was the view from my window sometime in the afternoon:


The visibility was bad because there was so much snow falling, or rather going almost horizontal.

Last night, I was reporting the conditions around here to Holly, and I said that one of the cars had been driven out of the parking lot, and then I realized it hadn't. It was just so covered with snow that you couldn't see it at all from the angle I was viewing it!

The snow stopped sometime during the evening. I don't know what the total was for here in Woodbridge, but there was a lot of it. The car seemed to be buried because the snow was blowing around as well as falling, and that's why it seemed to be covered. It's hard to estimate how much we really got because of the drifts. Some spots were very deep, and others were almost bare.

By today, the streets that had been plowed were almost totally bare, with just some dampness on the road, but there were very high spots where snow was piled up. Here's a shot of some snow piled above my head.


Here's a nearby parking lot, and you can see that although the snow is piled up, it's not a problem walking or driving.


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I had planned to go to the supermarket yesterday, but I took the last two photos of my trip there today instead. Rather than brave the wind and cold, I stayed home and knitted Christmas presents (and had pizza for dinner) while watching TV, mainly a lot of Doctor Who!

BBC in America premiered Waters of Mars yesterday, and showed reruns of The Next Doctor, and Planet of Death, along with a "making of" thing, Inside Doctor Who, and a Graham Norton Doctor Who Special.

They'll be showing the next two Doctor Who episodes over the next two Saturdays.

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I've been doing so much knitting that I've become very dull. There's nothing new happening that I can tell you about due to the projects being Christmas presents. I'll be taking photos of the projects, but I'm not going to put them up until people have gotten their presents, so that contributes to the dullness of this blog at the moment.

Back to the knitting!

I hope you've had as wonderful a weekend as I have. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Is One Week from Today!

There's only one week until Christmas!

I can't believe that time has snuck by and that there's only one week until Christmas!

I'm not even anywhere near done with making Christmas presents!

So, I'm going back to making presents, and you won't be hearing much from me until after Christmas, when I will still be making Christmas presents!

Don't forget that the newest Doctor Who episode (for us here in the USA) will be on tomorrow on BBC in America! They'll be showing The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, and The Waters of Mars, along with two "making of" programs and a Graham Norton Doctor Who Special. Check your local listings.

And tonight, there will be two brand-new Dollhouse episodes! Oh, and also a new Sanctuary.

I'll try to get photos of the stuff I'm knitting for presents up on the internet soon after Christmas.

Have fun until I get back on the internet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crash Blossom

This is going to be a fun post!

When I checked Facebook today, I found a link to a really great post on another website. This was posted by my friend, Rick Sternbach, and reposted by another friend, John Ellis.

Please do read the article at the link. I think you'll enjoy it. It's full of headlines that say things that were never intended, such as the infamous headline referred to above, "Confusion Caused by Crash Blossoms." The article calls them "the phenomenon of ambiguously or bizarrely worded headlines." This has added a whole new expression to the English language, i.e., "Crash Blossoms."

These are the kinds of headlines that Jay Leno and David Letterman read on their shows.

When you get to the end of the article, don't miss the links for eggcorns, snowclones and Cupertino. The comments at the ends of the articles aren't bad, either.

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Then I checked my email and found this, sent to me by Holly:




You have got to listen to this! If you have hearing problems, like I do, the entire verbal part is also captioned on the screen, so you really don't even have to turn the sound up on your computer. This is an actual recording from a school answering machine in Australia, and it's wonderful!

While I was there checking that out, I found this:



I've heard this one before, but it's always fun to listen to again.

And the ultimate answering machine message from God:



Well, I thought that was the ultimate answering machine message until I heard this. This explains the whole "telemarketers are going to hell" theme from the previous message:


And I think we've reached the end of this particular theme!

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Eastwick will be back with a new episode tonight!

I picked up some books I ordered from the library yesterday, including The Witches of Eastwick. I've heard that Eastwick was based on the book, so I wanted to read it. The other book I picked up was The Sorceress. I can't wait to read both of them!

I'm almost done reading The Wizard of Karres, so I'll be ready for them soon. I'm looking forward to reading The Sorceress of Karres when it comes out next month, too. If you're planning on reading them, be sure to start with The Witches of Karres, which is the first book.

I am so far behind on my Christmas present-making! Thanks for losing your mitts, Malaia! I'm taking extra measures to help you hang onto these!

Have a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Heather!

Once again, it's that time of year:

Happy Birthday, Heather!

I hope you have a great day!

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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy will be on SyFy tonight!

There will also be some Vampire Diaries rerun on the CW, and a brand new Better Off Ted, which is not SF, but is very good, still. Actually, it's almost SF. Some of the new products they're developing are very SF and so are the problems that humans have dealing with those inventions and products.

Anyway, tonight is rescued as an SF night!

And there will be a new Eastwick on tomorrow night! Save Eastwick!

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I found a knitting calculator, which I haven't tried yet, but put a link to in the sidebar. It will help you know how much yarn you'll need to knit a specific project.

Enjoy!

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I shouldn't be sitting here writing, I should be out getting all the things I didn't finish yesterday done. I made a mistake with something I got yesterday and I have to go back and exchange it. Then I have to go get some things I need to make Christmas presents. All that's after I go donate some food to the food bank and pick up some books that are waiting for me at the Library.

So, I have to get moving. Have a great evening!

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Addition:

The Winter edition of Knitty is out, and it has some things I'd like to make! Check it out for some great ideas for last minute Christmas presents!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick Note

I have lots of stuff to do today and had planned to be on the bus already, but I'm not. Instead, I'm trying to get off the computer and get something done.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that the CW will be running reruns of Vampire Diaries every evening this week (or nearly every evening. The kid who plays Stefan is very wooden and stiff in the beginning, but loosens up as things go on and it gets better, so it really seems to be worth watching if you stick with it.

Check your local schedules.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

God Jul


My father was Swedish, and Mom was determined that her kids should know about their ethnic heritage, so we got to find out about Christmas customs in Sweden. The first is that "Merry Christmas" in Swedish is "God Jul." Jul, by the way is pronounced as "Yule."

The second of these is Saint Lucia Day, which everyone I knew called "Little Christmas." It was always celebrated on the 15th of December when I was a kid, but when I looked on the internet, everywhere I checked insisted unanimously that it was on the 13th.

I remember imagining around the middle of December that I would dress up in the white robe and wear a crown of candles and bring my parents breakfast in bed. Not having a white robe, and especially not having a crown of candles, I never actually did it, and gave up on the idea before my teens.

One of the most memorable things was one year during the Christmas season, we went to Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia, where they had a fabulous Swedish Christmas set up, and my sister and I (along with our parents) got to be presented to the Kink of Sweden. I was very impressed with him, and I overheard him talking to someone else saying that he was very impressed with Lynn and I. We behaved ourselves and acted like very short adults in his presence, and he was amazed at our manners, composure, and the general way we conducted ourselves.

Mom found several shops that were essentially Swedish, and we shopped there at Christmas. I loved the Christmas cards. Most of them showed Saint Lucia, and all of them seemed to show the Tomte, although I know they called it by a different name even though I can't remember what that was (this was 60 years ago).

The Christmas cards were so pretty, looking like a the illustrations from an especially good child's fairy tale book. Many of them showed Saint Lucia in her white robe with a tray of food for her parents, surrounded by the Tomte, or elves in their little red jackets, looking like miniature versions of Santa. This particular card isn't anywhere near as nice as the ones we bought and sent at Christmas!
If you're a knitter and a fan of Elizabeth Zimmerman, you'll remember theses little people from her Tomten Jacket published in The Opinionated Knitter. To write the plural of tomte, you add an "n" not an "s." This pattern was resized for adults by Jared Flood and featured on his blog, Brooklyn Tweed.

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I hope you got to enjoy all the Doctor Who on BBC in America yesterday. If you missed it and you're quick, you can catch some of it being rebroadcast today.

Next week, on Saturday, they'll be replaying most of what was on yesterday, and also some specials about the making of Doctor Who, and the premier of the newest special to hit the US, The Waters of Mars. Don't miss it! I can't wait! It's obvious that they're giving me an early Christmas present!

ABC Family is going overboard on the Christmas movie theme today, and probably every day until Christmas. If you have kids (or if you are a big kid, like me), they'll love it.

I really have to get back to knitting Christmas presents!

Hope you had a great weekend! Enjoy what's left of it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Is Two Weeks from Today!

Yeah, I know. Yesterday was two weeks until Christmas eve, so it stands to reason that today is two weeks until Christmas.

It's arriving so fast! I'm having serious doubts about whether I'm going to be able to finish all the Christmas stuff!

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I've intended to go get those shoes all week, but it's been raining every day. Today it cleared out and was beautiful! It was also 22 degrees out and windy!

I gave up and tried to order the shoes over the internet, but even on backorder, they didn't have any in my size that weren't black.

I was hoping to get a spiffy pair, plus a comfortable pair to wear when I'm doing real walking (for me), and maybe a pair of warm boots.

So I went through all the bookmarks I'd filed under "shoes" and reviewed everything available. I sent for a pair of walking shoes and a pair of warm boots. I haven't found shoes that really look good and look like they'd be comfortable, too.

Now the major clothing items are jeans and maybe some turtleneck shirts, if I can find some at a good price. Hopefully, Holly and I will be going out on Saturday and I can get the jeans at WalMart and look around at shirts.

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There's two hours of Dollhouse on again tonight! I'm excited! The last two hours had me on the edge of my seat! I'm so sad they're canceled!

And, speaking of good news: there will be another episode of Eastwick on this coming Wednesday! With any luck, ABC will at least show the rest of the season's episodes. I'm even sadder that Eastwick is canceled!

They're not even putting on a rerun of Ghost Whisperer tonight, but they are putting on an episode of The Big Bang Theory on during the second half of it's time slot!

Sanctuary is new tonight, although Stargate Universe is a rerun.

Sorry I'm so boring today. You can probably tell that my mind is on getting back to making Christmas presents.

So have a great evening and a wonderful weekend! Good luck with getting together all the Christmas presents you need to get!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Eve Is Two Weeks from Today!

I just wrote it and I still can't believe that two weeks from today, it will be Christmas eve!

I still have so much knitting to do!

Just before I sat down to write all this, there was a knock at the door, and when I went to answer it, there was a box full of shiny yarn! Some of it is Lion Brand Festive Fur, and some is Paton's Brilliant, but it's all shiny, and it's all intended to make Christmas stockings with.


About two weeks 'till Christmas, and I still haven't made all the Christmas stockings! Well, I made some shiny Christmas stockings for Malaia and John a couple of years ago, so I don't have to do those. But I'd like to get some made for Kyle, Bob, Holly and Robin, at least. I'd like to make stockings for several other people, too, but I think that's unrealistic at this point.

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I have hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), and I got a phone call from the pharmacy yesterday. I ordered a refill on my prescription three days ago, and they called me two days ago to say that they'd run out and would have to order more, so it wouldn't be ready on time. I thought it was odd at the time. I mean I had filled a prescription with them and they knew I would be coming back for more, so why not keep it in stock?

Then yesterday they called to say that the Armor Thyroid that had been prescribed wasn't available AT ALL! The woman I spoke to said that they'd keep trying to get some more, but she didn't hold out much hope.

There are two different types of drugs for an under-active thyroid: natural hormones and synthetic (patentable) drugs.

The thyroid hormone that human bodies make includes chemicals called T1, T2, T3, and T4 as well as calcitonin and possibly others. The most popular synthetic drug (Synthroid) contains T4. The argument for the synthetic drug is that T4 is kind of a "holding" substance, and can be converted to T3 (which is the active ingredient that your body actually uses) in a body with a healthy endocrine system. Since it's only given to people who are already proven to have endocrine systems that are malfunctioning, as you might expect, some people just can't convert T4 to T3 well or at all, and Synthroid is about as useful to those people in solving their thyroid problems as drinking a glass of water. The further argument for synthetic drugs is that researchers haven't been able to discover a use in the body for T1 and T2, so they have come to the illogical conclusion that they don't do anything, and therefore, don't need to be in the drug given to people. Of course, if they put all those things into the drug, it wouldn't be patentable, and they wouldn't be able to charge the big bucks.

Calcitonin, by the way is also marketed as a drug to deal with osteoporosis and Pagets disease. I have Pagets, by the way (in my skull0, and I'm working on osteporosis, so this is important to me. A large amount of Calcitonin gives me horrible headaches, so I don't really want to take the very expensive drug form of it, but I suspect that the bit that's in the natural hormone helps. And, of course, that's not in the synthetic.

The problem here seems to be Big Brother. In all it's wisdom, the FDA is jealous of the small amount of money that the manufacturers of Armor Thyroid and the two other natural thyroid drugs are making and they want those profits for the manufacturer of Synthroid (and more, since Synthroid costs a lot more), so they're coming up with the idea that the natural hormones that have been safely in use since the 1930s (closing in on 100 years) are "new drugs" and have to go through the whole certification process from scratch! They're overlooking the fact that almost all doctors who actually have hypothyroidism have tried Synthroid, and switched to a natural thyroid medicine because they found out how BAD Synthroid makes them feel!

They're also proving once again, that they couldn't care less what they do to US citizens' health, as long as they get their bribes and help the drug companies harm us. At least I can't think of any other good reason why they'd do such a thing!

So, the plan is to find out if any other natural hormone is available, and if so, get a revised prescription from my doctor so that I can get that. Failing that, I need to get a new prescription and send it to a pharmacy in Canada or Europe, where these drugs are still available because doctors there are out to cure or help people rather than make lots of money for big drug companies!

As a matter of fact, if I lived in Europe, all I'd have to do is go to a doctor and he'd prescribe an antibiotic for my ulcerative colitis, and I'd be cured. But, unfortunately for me, I live in the US, and doctors here would rather tell me it's incurable and prescribe a drug that costs $400 per month (well it did nine years ago, it's probably more now) and doesn't do much of anything.

Lucky for me, I talked to someone who grew up in England, and he told me what doctors prescribe there: multi-minerals in a sublingual form. I can't find them in sublingual form, so it took longer for it to help, but multi-mineral tablets (at just under $10 per month) do a much better job than the expensive drug (Asacol)! In fact, they make the UC act like it's not there, which Asacol never did.

I HATE the FDA!

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I have so many things that I'd like to get done today that there's no way that I can possibly do them all. The day just isn't that long.

I need to do something about getting some more natural thyroid medicine, pick up the books I ordered at the library, go try to get the shoes I want, get to WalMart and get some new jeans as well as the vitamins, minerals and OTC stuff I've replace all my prescription medication with, and a trip to the grocery store would be helpful. Since I have to do any traveling on the bus, that's way more than I can do in one day.

And I have to knit those presents!

So have a great evening and enjoy all the reruns on TV tonight!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pete and Other Strange Things

Holly has a friend, Pete, who I know well enough to give a big hug. In fact, I hugged him the last time I saw him (two Saturdays ago, right after Thanksgiving). He's fun and very unusual.

I met Pete when Holly and I went to Toledo a couple of years ago. Pete let me park my car at his place for the duration of the trip, and gave us a ride to the airport from there. I really enjoyed meeting him.

He moved to Florida a couple of years ago because of some personal stuff that he was very unhappy about. Holly went there to help cheer him up. I think she hoped that he'd move back here, but the main objective seemed to be to cheer him up no matter what he decided to do. Well, he decided not to move back here, so I thought I wouldn't have the chance to see him again.

I was glad to find that I was wrong about that.

Unfortunately, I only got to see him because he was on his way between two different places. He stopped in DC on his way to Moscow. He said that in a bizarre twist of fate, he found himself the owner of a bar in Moscow, and was going there to see what was happening with it.

He promised us he'd send photos, and has sent at least one so far:



All I can say is Wow! He is an amazing person!

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When I checked out Twitter today, I found something that is so amazing that it sounds like a hoax. Here's the link. Decide for yourself. Oh, and you really need to see this! It's truly news of the weird! I don't know what to make of this, and apparently, neither does anyone else!

Oddly enough, although this was reported being seen from Norway, it has Moscow as a tag, and Russia is mentioned prominently. I wonder if Pete was up to something?

I've seen some strange lights in the sky (although not that strange). If you have, too, send me a comment and tell me about it. I may publish any comments that are interesting.

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There's not a whole lot happening on TV tonight. I hope you have a DVR or a DVD player and lots of DVDs!

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I felt rotten all last evening after seeing the dentist, but a longer than normal night's sleep seems to have helped a lot. I still have some numbness from the Novocaine, but the worst of it is over and I'm feeling close to normal (whatever that is). I'm thinking seriously about going out tomorrow and doing all the stuff I planned to do on Tuesday but didn't due to the way I felt after seeing the Dentist.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Dental Day

It was back to the dentist for me today. They removed the temporary caps and did impressions. This involved more Novocaine, and some amazingly vigorous mayhem to my teeth, coupled with lots of digging under my gums with sharp instruments.

I had originally planned to go to Manassas and get the shoes I've been thinking about and some jeans, but gave up on that after the way I felt, and the length of time it took to do all of the work.

So, this is going to be a short post. All I feel like doing is watching TV and knitting, with maybe a snack of something soft and soothing. I stopped on the way home and got some rice pudding.

I'll probably only have to go back once more.

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In TV news, Marc Blucas was on Castle last night. Some of you may remember him as Buffy's boyfriend, Riley Finn, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Tonight, Better Off Ted is back!! It had been canceled, so I was surprised and delighted to see it come up on my digital TV guide for tonight. I know it's not really science fiction, but it does have a lot of science run amok in addition to the insane corporate tactics. And it's a very funny show.

I, Robot will also be on FX.

My gums are throbbing, and I don't feel like writing anymore, so I'll wish you a fun evening and leave it at that.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Pearl Harbor Day

I don't think Pearl Harbor is anything to celebrate, but I hope you have a good day.

Not much is happening around here.

I liberated an extension cord by eliminating the stuff that was plugged into another cord that I never turn on. So, now my tree and window are lit and beautiful. Very pretty! Photos of it will appear if I get a chance.

Not much going on here, I just wanted to say hi!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let It Snow!

Yesterday, we got our first snowfall of the season. It looked like this out my window at about noon:


It looks kind of misty because there was snow coming down. It continued to snow until about 5pm or so, and we probably got just a smidge over two inches. The air at ground level and the ground itself was above freezing when it snowed (although it went down later), so we wound up with two inches on the grass, ground and trees, and just a hint of slush on the sidewalks, and some dampness on the roads.

It looks very wintery and Christmassy! Very picturesque and pretty, and not a hassle, except when I walked out without the hood on my coat up and got some down the back of my neck.

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A couple of days ago, I finished a hat that's going to be a Christmas present. I won't say who it's for, but I will show you what it looks like.



The cuff is supposed to look like it's a mobius strip, although that's not how it's knitted. Give me an opinion. Does it look like that's what it is?

And right above the area where the cuff dips to look like it's twisting, there's a heart.


I finished knitting a wimple to go with this last night. It still needs blocking, and it will look kind of messy until I do that, so I haven't taken a photo of it yet. The blocking is waiting until I finish Christmas decorations.

I'm definitely going to make mitts to go with this set, but there will still be yarn left after that, so I haven't decided if I should make a scarf or mittens to go over the mitts to go with all of this. Opinions would be welcome! The scarf has the advantage that I can knit the mitts first, and then get the scarf started and just keep going until I run out of yarn and use it all.

This was knit with the Encore Tweed yarn in Grape Jam, for anyone who is interested in the yarn.

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I've been putting up Christmas decorations a little at a time. I do a little bit and then my back hurts, so I rest for a bit and do some more.

The little lavender tree is up on the divider between the kitchen and living room, although I still intend to put more lights in that area. It's very pretty and I like it.



The lights in the window are up, but not lit yet. I need two extension cords to light both the window lights and tree lights at the same time, and I only have one cord.

The extension cord that I got for the window lights is currently still next to the tree, which is up, but I need an extension cord for that, too. I bought a cord for it last year, but it's in use elsewhere now, so I need another one to light the tree. Until there's another cord, they can't both be lit at once. The cord is currently by the tree because I put up the two new strings of lights and wanted to test them and see how it looked. I could easily have used another string of star lights for the tree, but CVS only had two in white. All the rest were multicolored. They look really good, though, although the rose lights are prettier overall. I still want the star lights more than the rose ones, though.

I still need to put the ornaments up and clear away the boxes that all this stuff was in, so it's kind of messy at the moment, but I'll get back to it when I finish writing this and get it done.

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We've been drowning in Christmas movies, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings this weekend. I'm not complaining about any of that.

BBC in America came through for us and took down the listing for Torchwood yesterday and substituted the next episode of Doctor Who from the one they had in that time slot last week (last week was Turn Left, and yesterday was The Stolen Earth). There are three one hour Doctor Who episodes listed for next Saturday, but my digital TV Guide won't tell me what they are. Their online schedule says that they will finish the series of three with Journey's End next Saturday and continue with The Next Doctor and Planet of the Dead for any of you who missed them. They did say that there would be more new Doctor Who in December. They'll go crazy with the Doctor on Sunday and show several different episodes including repeats from Saturday and Voyage of the Dammed.

The Saturday after that (19th), they're going to go insane and show several Doctor Who episodes and specials including The Waters of Mars!

Tomorrow, Disney will be showing The Chronicles of Narnia at noon (here), and there will be a new Big Bang Theory and Castle as well as a new Closer. Wow!

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I was hoping to get out with Holly on Saturday or Sunday and spend some of the money the Social Security people should have been sending me, but didn't.

Unfortunately, Holly didn't feel good, and looked at the weather report and decided that she really didn't want to fight with snow while she was feeling that way, and declined to go.

I'm kind of worried about her, and I hope she feels better soon.

One of the things I wanted to get was a pair of shoes. JC Penny has some shoes that normally cost more on sale for $30. They're really good looking, and if they are as comfortable as I hope, I'd like to buy them. I have a sneaky suspicion that they're on clearance, and that's the reason for the lower price, so I want to do it ASAP.

But I can get there on the bus, so I guess that's what I'll do. I can also get them online and have them mailed to me, but they said I can buy them locally and it would be nice to be able to try them on first.

Well, I'd better get back to decorating!

I hope you had a great weekend and an even better week coming up!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Big Bang Theory

I happened to come across this today, and thought you'd enjoy it.




I only discovered The Big Bang Theory recently, and I don't know if this is a new episode that's coming up, or one that's been shown before, but I thought it was very funny, and I thought others would enjoy it.

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Yesterday, I went running over to the library lugging enough books to return to cause spinal damage, and there was a Christmas tree up in the airlock between the outside door, and the inside one. It was so pretty, it stopped me in my tracks. The lights on it were white (clear) and in the shape of roses! The tree was covered in lit-up white roses! So pretty!

I asked where they got them, and Susan said CVS, so after I returned my books and dragged home another stack of bone-endangering proportions, I went over to CVS.

Well, I think that each CVS store got a different batch of lights, and that they weren't all the same because they didn't have roses, but they did have stars! Stars! Which was even better! Susan warned me that there are a lot of lights on the string (30), but that they're so close together that a string of lights doesn't go very far, and that the tiny tree had two strings of lights on it. So, since my tree is a similar size, I got two strings, also.

Now, I just have to get the tree up!

I have so much to do at the moment, and not enough time to do it! I haven't gotten any of the Christmas decorations up yet. I did pull out one string of lights and plug them in so that I could see how pretty they are, though.

And I have the tiny lavender tree that I just got to put up, too. I know, a lavender tree sounds SO tacky, but it really is pretty. The pink one just like it is tacky, though. I'm really determined to get that up tonight!

So, I have all the Christmas decorating to do, I really should go back to CVS and get at least one more Zyrtec so that I can take one today. Actually, I should have done that much earlier than this (it's about 5:30, and I should have taken one by now), I have a blog post to put up, and I still have more work on the back cover of the Steve Canyon DVD than I expected to have at this point! And I'm not even going to think about how much knitting I still have to do for Christmas presents!

I have re-prioritized my Christmas knitting. The further away the recipient lives, the sooner I'm knitting their present. People who live nearby may not get presents until I finish them, which may not be until after Christmas.

There will be far fewer blog posts happening in December than there usually are, so don't panic!

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Dollhouse will be on TV for two hours tonight! Don't miss it!

Monk has been on USA all day today. They will be repeating the first part of the last (two part) episode, and then premiering the second part at the end of the marathon this evening. We're finally going to find out why Trudy died!

And there will be a new White Collar on right after that. Natalie Morales was requesting that everyone tune in to see it tonight. I hope it's not on the "We're sharpening the ax for this one" list! And speaking of Natalie Morales, she just tweeted this photo.

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One of the books that I lugged back to the Library yesterday was And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer. It did actually have at least a hint of plot, and the writing in any one sentence seemed to be as good as Douglas Adams' but it just didn't seem quite as good as the previous books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series. It truly did seem like an afterthought, though, so I guess that's good.

Years ago, in the early '70s, I read a very good book called The Witches of Karres. I loved that book then, and about a year ago, I got another copy of it, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. Well, I'm rereading it now, and it's every bit as good as I remember! I am having such a good time reading it!

I have sitting here, waiting for me, The Wizard of Karres, which I have read more recently, and expect to enjoy even more since I'll have just finished the first book.

But the big news is that there's a sequel to those two coming out early next year (January 5) called
The Sorceress of Karres, and I can't wait to read it!

It's almost 7pm here, and I'm still writing and checking stuff on the internet, and I really have to go!

Have a great Friday night (don't forget Dollhouse), and a wonderful weekend!

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Addition:

Before I managed to escape from the internet and actually do something useful, I happened to notice this and thought that you might enjoy it if you're going crazy finding Christmas presents this year. Yes, that's right, it's a USB powered pet rock!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Save Eastwick!

What is it about television networks that makes them remove every TV program that I really like as soon as possible?

The Middleman was there and gone so quickly that I missed most of it because Comcast refused to broadcast it with the closed captioning that was in the signal when ABC Family sent it to them. The little bit I did see was wonderful! ABC Family could have had it for several more seasons and I would have watched and treasured every episode, but no, they wanted me to watch some other network instead of them.

The latest casualty of this kind of thinking is ABCs Eastwick. This is easily the best show on TV right now. Yes, there are other shows that I watch and enjoy, but Eastwick is the one I most don't want to see go off the air. So, naturally, ABC is demonstrating that they want me to watch some other station.

OK, so they're replacing it in the time slot by moving Ugly Betty to Wednesday. While I was searching for more information to link to for Eastwick, I found the link above, which says that not only have they canceled it, but they aren't going to show the final few episodes! The thing that baffles me, is that Ugly Betty is getting ratings that are lower than Eastwick. And Ugly Betty is getting replaced by something even worse in it's old time slot!

ABC, why don't you put Eastwick into a timeslot on Tuesday night? Everything there is so forgettable that I don't even remember anything that's on your network on Tuesday, and I certainly don't watch your network (or any other regularly scheduled show) on Tuesday.

If you want to save Eastwick, or at least try, go here or the Facebook Save Eastwick page (or both). You can get more info about it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Eastwick?v=wall, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SaveEastwick. You can write to ABC here.

Well, anyway, tonight there will be an all-new episode of Eastwick, so let's enjoy it while we can! From what I'm reading on the internet, it may be the very last one ever!

While I'm on the subject of canceled/reinstated shows, Chuck will be back in January!

There will be two (count 'em, TWO) episodes of Dollhouse on Friday!

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I'm on the internet! You can see an article about Volume 3 of the Steve Canyon DVD here!

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I've been doing a lot of knitting for Christmas presents, and I'll take a photo of some of it tomorrow (if I get a chance--there's a lot to do tomorrow), when we're due to have some sun, which is something that didn't happen at all today.

I've also been working on the covers for the new Steve Canyon DVD (Volume 3), and I have to do a bit more of that today, so I have to quit writing this and get busy!

Have a great night, and don't miss Eastwick!

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Addition:

Vogue Knitting is having a sale on their patterns. Get more information about it here!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Recovering from Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was wonderful, as usual. I got to see Holly and Robin's new, 52 inch TV, and it's wonderful, but we actually had Thanksgiving dinner in the new bar behind their house.

A while ago, Robin bought a Chinese dragon kite, and he wanted it for decoration. Here's a photo of it on the ceiling in the bar.


And here it is close up:


Here are Holly and Robin behind the bar:


A photo of Robin getting ready to answer a question, it looks like:


And a couple of photos of Holly:



I finally gave up and went home after 1:30 am.

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Before I forget to tell you, Vickie Howell is having her annual book giveaway! Today is the last day to enter, so get right over there!

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For all you knitters out there who need/want a yarn winder, here are instructions for making one of your own for a low cost.

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The ABC Family channel was running the "coundown" to 25 Days of Christmas, but gave up on that for Thanksgiving and Saturday. They're back with some Christmas movies, if anyone cares. I have to admit it, I'm a sucker for those gooey Christmas movies.

BBC in America told the people who put up the digital TV guide that they were going to show the Doctor Who episode, Utopia yesterday, but they really showed Turn Left. I hope they show the two episodes that come after Turn Left (The Stolen Earth and Journey's End). The other two are considered to be a whole story, but I think that Turn Left should be included as part of that story, and it should be a three-parter.

I just looked it up, and they're not showing Doctor Who next Saturday. In that time slot they're showing Torchwood, and they haven't put up any info on which episode yet.

By the way, SyFy is now rerunning Doctor Who on Friday mornings, very early, again, at least for a few more weeks. Next week will be Fires of Pompei. On Christmas Eve (Christmas day) and New Year's Day, they will not be showing Doctor Who. Hopefully, he'll be back in January.

Heroes will be the only new SF programming on Monday. Of course, SyFy will have it's usual reruns of Ghost Whisperer, and there will be reruns of The Big Bang Theory, and Castle. I know Castle isn't SF, but I like Nathan Fillion so much from Firefly.

I have to get going now. I promised John I'd get some more done on the back cover of Volume 3 of the Steve Canyon DVDs over the weekend, and yesterday went in a completely different direction from what I intended, and I didn't get anything done then, so I have to make it up now.

I hope you've all been having a great extended holiday weekend!

Friday, November 27, 2009

John Gorka

Here's more about another folk singer that's a favorite of mine, John Gorka.

This is a song he wrote called Branching Out, and it's supposed to be a song written by his guitar, back when it was a sapling.




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Thanksgiving was great, but I have to get out and get some things done, so that's all for today!

More information later!

Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

In honor of Thanksgiving, for all you Arlo Guthrie fans out there (like me) I'm giving you a chance to hear a slightly updated version of that Thanksgiving classic, Alice's Restaurant Massacree. The whole thing is only available in three parts, so you'll have to click on the next one when the previous one stops. Sorry.










There's an even more updated version of this where Arlo talks about touring the Pentagon, and discovering that they are manufacturing and distributing arcade games to teach the next generation of Americans how to fly fighter planes and fight in a war!


And then there's the Multi-colored Rainbow Roach Affair, which is not related to anything but a weird story.


I tried to find them both for you, but couldn't.


And if you are an Arlo Guthrie fan, I'm sure you've heard the Motorcycle song. But you may not have heard his story of the significance of the pickle. So, here it is, just in case you didn't understand about the pickle.






He was such a cutie!

Here he is doing Stevie Goodman's City of New Orleans:





You can listen to Coming into London on You Tube if you want, too. Who says Arlo only did folk?


For those of you who love the blues, Saint James Infirmary was one of his best. The acoustics of the place they did this were kind of echoy, but it still has heart!


One of my favorite memories of Arlo, though was one night he and David Bromberg showed up after their local gigs on the Gene Shay show. The two of them got to playing a risque tune, and had an impromptu competition to see who could make up the raunchiest lyrics to it on the spot. They were supposed to be off the air at midnight, but it ran 20 minutes over because everyone was having so much fun! And being so rowdy!


This is the song they were doing. Here, David is playing with Jorma Kaukonen.




And the two of them aren't trying to make up off-color lyrics like David and Arlo were doing that night.


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To give you something else to hope to be thankful for, here's some info on a contest by Berroco, where you can win all the Barbara Walker stitch dictionary books! Click the link in the sidebar on the right.


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All this is my Thanksgiving present to you!


Now, tell me what you're thankful for this year!


Happy Thanksgiving!

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