Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thursday Already...

The older I get, the faster time seems to fly. I swear it was just Monday. Yesterday. 

Chicago is in shock because Charlie Trotter died unexpectedly. 

Photo from Google
Well, too soon, at least. He was 54. His son said that he had a brain aneurysm and was aware of it. He was warned not to fly anywhere and he flew to Jackson Hole to speak at a conference. His son came home, Charlie was on the couch, and when his son awoke the next morning, Charlie was still on the couch, unresponsive. 

So sad. No, I couldn't afford to eat at his place. And you'll see all kinds of memorials, I'm sure. Some will excoriate his temperament. Some will mourn because they had good experiences with him and they will feel his loss. Some will mourn simply because Charlie lifted Chicago from the "beer and pizza" town everyone thought they knew, to become somewhat of a foodie mecca. 

I mourn the early loss of genius, and I wonder if, when he unexpectedly closed his restaurant, he had a premonition. The picture is from Google. You'll see a lot of them in his somewhat iconic pose, but I kind of like this one where he's actually doing what made him famous, and what - I hope - made him happy.


This has been going around Facebook for a while, and it's still worth a look-see. Bill Maher stops a panelist in his tracks, after the panelist insists that the Affordable Care Act is a ginormous "one size fits all" thing that can't possibly - cannot POSSIBLY work. Check it out here

And in more ACA news, Reuters reports that people are warming up to the website and sign-up despite the glitches. I have to wonder what Social Security would've looked like had it been web-based... I can tell you that Kid #2 got his explanation of benefits from his employer, and he said, "Oh wow -- I can have a pre-existing condition!" Which, being 25 and healthy as a horse, he doesn't...but his employer clearly spelled out what was coming, and it's good. He's in that coveted segment of young healthy folks. It's all good from here, I think. 

And in Chicago politics, the city is issuing bonds for buildings that have no hope in heck of ever being habitable. Somehow, this one generates a big "yawwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnn" -- someone knows someone. 

In Illinois, good news for the gay community. We trot into the 21st century by passing the gay marriage bill. Click here for a CBS report. Of course, the Council of Catholic Bishops is really upset. So are a boat-load of conservatives.

And there was the typical article in today's Trib saying, "Well, what if a vendor doesn't want to serve the gay couple? The law ONLY protects the clergy."

Okey-dokey. Here's where we need a huge scoop of common sense. Really, in this economy, you'd turn down business? Well, that's certainly your right. But you know what? You don't have to rub your religious objections in anyone's nose. If I came to you and asked you to provide a cake, a video, a dress, flowers - whatever it was, and told you it was for a gay wedding, all you have to say, truly -- just being polite and civil maybe -- would be, "I'm sorry, I can't provide that for you." And I don't mean I have to be blatant about the telling... It'd come up in the normal course of placing an order. "Bride's name: Jennifer; Groom's name: Susan." Well, there ya go....

You don't have to whack me on the head with your Bible. And I have the perfect right to go somewhere else. To someone who wants to take my money... Truly the most simple solution. 

Illinois needs the business. Aside from the human rights issue, we need the money. It's a whole new marketplace for us. Good for the government for finally getting something right. 


Finished one more Fluffy Scarf and cast on the next one. The yarn, Starbella, is not exactly as nice as it used to be. Perhaps they're going the "Homespun" route. Homespun, by Lion Brand Yarn, used to be the go-to yarn. It was good quality, had gorgeous colors, and hey - even Martha Stewart used it to make her "prison poncho." 

Then, there started to be quality issues. The nylon filament would untwist; the colors weren't consistent from hank to hank. And you'd be midway through a project and get this huge whack of "blank" -- as if about a yard or so would've missed the dye pot entirely. 

This last hank of Starbella had some real issues in terms of the gold braid at the bottom; one chunk was missing. The hank came apart on me mid-stream (it looked as if they ran out of one segment and just lumped another beginning string onto it) so I had to double up for a row or two to hook it back together. Not happy. I've marked that scarf and I'll use that one for myself. I don't want to have another choir member use it and think "Oh, I got the crappy one." 

I'm working this weekend, but I still hope to finish that charity afghan. I want my dining room table back, and Hubby wants to move the Ott light back where it belongs! 


I've got a lovely smoothie for lunch today. The weight loss stuff is back on track. Funny - it works really well when you're not mindlessly munching all day long. Hmmmmmmm. 

I'm going to begin working with my small hula hoops - you put them on your arms and do arm circles. It's quite a workout actually. I think that starting out slowly will help re-build my upper body strength. Yoga helps, of course, but anything you can do as won't hurt.


Working on the Silent Night for Christmas. I have to figure out how to hook the guitar up to the sound system. If Hubby does go visit his mom for the holiday, I'm on my own. The church is really old. I mean, so old that they don't even have plumbing in the sacristy. We will look at it this weekend and hope to figure out something I can do on my own. It's not usually a big deal; at our other church, we had a sound board and I knew which buttons to push. Here, though - not so easy. 

I rather wish they'd let me play another one, but I'm biding my time. It'll come. Or it won't and that's fine. I play because I enjoy it, and if I can do it publicly, fine. If not, ok. Recently, at our university, they've started using guitarists, so maybe I can do it there. That might be better anyway, because I'd be one of several and not just by myself. 

Random Picture...

This is a picture of one of my knitting notebooks. It may seem silly, but what I like to do is write everything down, regardless of the written pattern I may have. 

Knitting Knotebook
It's this way: You may have a printed pattern, and unless you're built exactly to the specification of a pattern, you will have alterations. Or you may be hit with a brilliant idea which you think that the designer might've thought about (or not) and you want to incorporate it. Well, obviously, in a sweater, you want to document that so that, say, both sleeves are alike. I know there's this whole genre of "asymmetrical knitting" but honestly - I'd just look like I was wearing something I screwed up.

This one happens to be of a prayer shawl I knitted for a friend of mine, who happens to be an organist (hence the "Organ Pipes" pattern). I knitted it for her because her son died, and because we have been friends for so long. 

So I have them all over; I try to use each one till full, but sometimes (who am I kidding --- ALWAYS) I have multiple WIPs (works in progress) and I need notebooks for most of them. I like to even keep track of how many rows of a scarf or something like that. 

This way, you can re-use your printed pattern (the shawl pattern actually came from one of those "stitch-a-day" calendars, so it wasn't even a shawl till I did that). You don't have notes all over, and if you happen to knit something for two people, like when I did the hats for my kids, I was able to note the colors and the order in which I used them for each hat. 

Heck, even the Yarn Harlot loves it when people bring her their knitting notebooks to sign. It's a piece of history and maybe one day, a future knitter in my family will dig through my notebooks and be inspired to try something of his or her own, using my notes. 

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