Don’t roll your eyes
Saturday November 20th 2021, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Politics

Tracy Ullman as Angela Merkel. Somehow I had missed out on this till now.


The son of their former Republican Senator
Monday November 01st 2021, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Politics

There is an election in Virginia tomorrow, but also one in Utah. Where my cousin Jim is a candidate for mayor. (Please vote if there’s an election where you are!)

He reported two phone conversations he’d had today, and I’m going to mostly-quote from his Facebook post, especially for my mom since she won’t see it otherwise.

In one, a woman asked him, Are you vaccinated?

Jim: Yes.

Why do you hate the Constitution!

In the second, the guy asked him, Why are you trying to get people to cheat in the election?

Jim: I’m not.

That’s a lie. I got a postcard from you where you tell me I can mail in my ballot.

Jim: And?

And all voting by mail is cheating! Don’t you know that? How can I vote for a candidate who doesn’t know that?

Jim said both conversations ended abruptly after he told them, essentially, You’re nuts.

One of his readers asked him about representing people like that, and his answer was those two weren’t voting for him.

As in, let’s have it just be just two people who think like that. Right?

Speed bump ahead
Tuesday October 12th 2021, 10:23 pm
Filed under: LYS,Politics

Twenty-six rows today, maybe a row shy of twenty-six inches. Serious progress.

Forgive me a bit of a rant, though.

Imagiknit‘s email saying “Your package has been shipped” also says, and this is new, that if the post office is still claiming they haven’t got it yet, which is in fact what they’re saying on mine, they do, check with them, ie, they’re just not updating in a timely manner. I read that as, please don’t make us pay for our employees’ time tracking it down because of the post office’s screwups. I also know how immediately Imagiknit gets their customers’ purchases out there.

Postmaster General DeJoy made it official policy to slow down packages as of Oct 1–I guess not entering them into the system means they’re trying to dodge customer blowback against that slowdown on their part.

I don’t know why he still has his job. I think he’d have to be fired for cause but there’s definitely cause: a whole lot of people, especially in rural areas, depend on timely mail for their meds. My problem is just yarn but still, I do want to start the branches on my tree and I’m almost out of the white for the background.

And of course this turned out to be the first week where my husband has had to drive in to work, and he no longer works where I can just drop him off. We had planned to buy a new car for the commute whenever it finally happened but this has definitely turned out not to be the year to be in the market for one.

So heading out to the nearest yarn store in desperation is not something I can do for a few days either. I’ve been sitting here with my knitting needles chasing that roadrunner as fast as I can go and I’m about to smack right into that wall.

I’m just going to have to wait. Ah, poor baby.

Roberts dissented
Wednesday September 01st 2021, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life,Politics

Texas passed the intended death of Roe v. Wade and Trump’s appointees allowed it to stand today. Meaning it is now in effect, arguments and lawsuits to come or not, and every woman there who might ever need an abortion for any reason must have it done no more than two weeks after her period is late. And if you drive her to another state for it even a day later, anyone can sue you and collect a bounty.

And then there’s Katy.

Katy is a friend of mine of 34 years whose second, much-wanted, much-anticipated pregnancy years ago turned into a molar pregnancy: meaning, it stopped developing into a baby at all and started growing wildly, randomly, and at the speed of fetal cells was rapidly turning into what was going to be a cancer taking over her body. Her blood pressure skyrocketed.

She spent sixteen days in a coma. Having been a professional flutist, she had to relearn how to play. She had to relearn a lot of things. She had a major seizure as she was finally coming to, so she spent years on seizure meds, and that medical history in this state means being unable to drive. When they finally eased her off them many years later there was a risk of sparking another grand mal. But she lucked out and she finally got to feel like herself again.

She was devastated at losing the pregnancy but the doctors told her it had no longer been one and they had had no choice but to remove it to save her life–it had been a very very near thing as it was. It was not and could not ever have become a baby.

And now under the charming Governor Abbott and his collaborators, anyone, anyone at all, would have the right to violate HIPAA over the medical history of someone they don’t even know and to collect $10,000 from Katy’s husband for driving her to the hospital to save her life. Because, technically, since that mess was in her womb that was an abortion.

Had he not, their oldest would have grown up without his mom.

Had he not, the two children who came along later, giving great comfort to both of them, would never have come to be and let me tell you, the world would have been a lesser place without those great kids and their mom.

Biology is messy. Life is imperfect. You have to allow people to make choices you disagree with–and I am no great fan of abortion, let me be clear–in order to save those choices for those who would die without the right to make them.

To the men in Texas who think requiring a face mask is a violation of one’s rights but dictating medical and lifetime outcomes to women is not, we have a Constitution that protects all religions from the adherents of any other one, and as I understand it, under Jewish law, the life and health of the mother come first. And–here I’m less sure of myself, please correct me if I’m wrong–the spirit is thought to enter the body at the first breath of life. Before that it’s just parental happy anticipation.

Texas’s law cannot stand. It must not. The only thing it accomplishes is punishing women and those who love them for the sake of the political aspirations of a few men who don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves. They are the biblical Pharisees passing by on the other side of the road from the wounded, punishing any Good Samaritan in sight.

Now you Guam and done it again, Marj
Friday March 12th 2021, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Life,Politics

If anyone’s considering putting in quartz countertops–and I would say the majority of kitchens I’ve seen that were clearly remodeled towards putting the house on the market have them–you might want to read NPR’s report on them first. Now that the industry knows their workers’ lungs are getting silicosis, they’re still not doing enough to protect them.

Granite is far safer to work with (and personally I think it’s prettier), and if you get a dark one (scroll down to the bottom for details–I’ve linked to that site before, it’s a good one) if it’s truly all granite you likely will never have to refinish it because it will never absorb a thing.

Meantime, in political news, the ever-loud-and-angry Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene decried our giving foreign aid to undeserving countries like, y’know, Guam!

The representative from Guam decided to gift her with some Guam Chamorro Chip cookies as a warm welcome to the new Representative, and the governor is sending her a history of the territory. All done with island charm, it sounds like.

So you know that means I had to go run look up what a chamorro chip was. Made from some exotic dried fruit or something?

Apparently it’s mini-chips. Of the chocolate, shall we say, persuasion.

Butter emails
Thursday February 25th 2021, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Food,History,Politics

The question on everyone’s minds, clearly, is this: does your butter still spread on your bread?

Who expected an outcome of the pandemic to be, and I quote, rubbery butter?

Who knew that farmers fed their cows palm oil? But apparently they do, and in Canada it has become an issue.

Since everybody’s home quarantining, more people are baking, and they’re using more butter than normal, and the farmers needed to step up production to meet the demand.

So they increased the palm oil in the animals’ feed, (bbcnews link) which apparently does work at upping the fat content in their milk.

Making the resulting lipids not traditionally soft at room temperature anymore.

The farmers, after saying, hey, the US and the UK do this too and it’s not new made clear their intention towards us consumers: Let them eat cake.

Wizard of awe
Thursday January 21st 2021, 11:06 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

I asked my friend Jane if I could borrow her picture and credit her, and she said, Sure! –But that it was someone else’s artwork.

Oh and: Jill Biden’s coat at the inaugural had the official flowers of every state and territory embroidered on it.

Popping the bubble
Tuesday January 19th 2021, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Garden,Life,Politics


It was only anchored in two places instead of all the way around because I wasn’t actually using it on the mango, nor had I set up its replacement we got under warranty because of a ripped zipper–since we know we’re not traveling anywhere at all, I’ve reverted to frost cover layers with Christmas lights at night. Way cheaper to heat.

So instead I left the old one up to help me kill off winter weed season within its circle. Californian weeds have Darwinian survival to a science: their stabby little sprouts come up before the grass can while their roots can go 18″ deep to grab every bit of water there might be. Depriving them of even what rain there’s been has left me a spot of good ground towards the coming veggie garden season.

And now it’s picked its own spot.

Winds 40-45 everywhere around for hours, gusts at 98 in the hills. I woke up to a big branch on the laurel outside the upper windows there twisted completely backwards again and again. I didn’t know it could do that.

It did not topple.

It’s been so dry that the winds reignited unseen underground embers from last August’s fires and now the firefighters are fighting the CZU complex wildfire all over again on ten fronts and I feel for my friends up in the hills.

But unlike summertime there’s a big rainstorm coming in, Friday if we’re lucky, Sunday through next Thursday after that, nearly three inches’ worth. At long last. Hopefully. And that should do it.

So on a happier note, tomorrow’s going to be SUCH a great day!

And y’know? The frame on that Sunbubble is still in great shape. They don’t sell the covers separately. I wonder–there’s got to be a way I can cut the plastic away and set it up with birdnetting, and that would be absolutely fabulous to have. It won’t be as pretty as if they sold it that way but with the help of the tall guy we can jury-rig that.

Seven Big Boy tomato seedlings have popped up in the last 24 hours and they’ll be happy to take that nice cleared spot in a month or two.

I better move the thing back over there before it rains so I don’t have to fight round two of the pricker-stabbies.

Oh wait.

Might be a little less effective this time.

So blessedly normal
Sunday January 17th 2021, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Life,Politics

The New York Times has a story on the Emhoff/Harris family, with Kamala’s stepkids marveling over seeing their dad on CNN.

Turns out the daughter designs her own knits, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who went, Oh cool!

The son, quoting from the article: “I was a senior when they got together, and I remember I saw a tweet that someone did. It was a photo of Kamala at the Kavanaugh hearing, and someone tweeted, like, “I’d hate to have to look at that face and explain why I’m late for curfew.” And I was thinking, “I’ve literally had to do that.”

The Times asked the daughter what her dad was going to do now.

“I hope he takes up another hobby. I hope he starts knitting, like I do. I think it’ll be a good time for him to slow down and just, I don’t know, like appreciate life. And tap into a lot of the things that he couldn’t do because he was working so much or had these time constraints. I hope that it opens up some of those creative outlets, but that’s obviously just me, the creative child.”

And as I read I kept thinking, I can see why Kamala adores these kids so much.

Thank you ten Republicans
Wednesday January 13th 2021, 10:48 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

The cause of Trump’s second impeachment today, with brief annotations offering bits of context we might not otherwise have known as a lawyer goes through the speech Trump made to instigate the mob.

Thank you Andy Kim
Friday January 08th 2021, 11:43 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Re yesterday’s post: I saw the nutcracker in the kitchen drawer this morning and instantly wondered, those oysters… But maybe shards, so, just as well.

Speaking of awkward methods, if people used Emery boards to try to get into a nut would it make them kernel sanders?

Re after the ransacking of the Capital:

Andy Kim, Representative from New Jersey, the son of immigrants, took in what had been done in the Rotunda, the violations, the trash spewed everywhere–and over there, cops with plastic bags. He asked for one.

When two of his colleagues walked by at 1:00 a.m. noticing the cleanup crew member wearing a suit they suddenly realized it was their friend and colleague. Alone. His parents had left everything they knew to be able to have democracy and this building offered such aspiration towards the best in man.

Putting it aright to the best of his ability when no one was around with a camera or megaphone or any kind of power, before that moment, to see it. It was simply something he profoundly needed to do.

Note that they found him doing so because they themselves were walking around the Capital to thank the staff and all who had done so much to protect and serve on a day like no other.

Tomorrow’s going to be interesting
Wednesday January 06th 2021, 11:36 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Well, that was a day that started off really well–and Ossoff and Warnock’s victories in the Georgia runoffs meant that suddenly Mitch McConnell was making the kind of speech this evening he should have been making his last thirty-plus years in the Senate, calling for bipartisanship and appealing to history and our country’s ideals. Now that he’s finally losing his Majority Leader status.

And after he and those around him had fled for their lives from the rioters (Klobucher, looking at her phone: “Shots fired”) invading the Capital.

After they hustled all the Senators, aides, and reporters present into a secure spot–whoops, it’s not, they’re in there, too, go in over here now–someone realized that Tammy Duckworth wasn’t with them because her wheelchair can’t do the route they took. They sent someone to rescue her from the office she’d had to barricade without legs, with a specific phrase from Sen. Klobuchar to let her know it was okay to open the door. She did indeed get rescued.

Props to the Parliamentarian’s aides who said, Help us grab the electoral votes! in the middle of the craziness. Big heavy boxes.

Note that Trump replaced the head of the Capital police last year, that some of them were taking selfies with the rioters and that there is video of a few of them moving the gates out of the way and letting the rioters in. Note that when Mayor Bowser asked for the DC National Guard to come to their aid, she was denied.

Whose signature was on the order for them to come after all?

Mike Pence’s.

Pence has zero authority to–


–unless he’s already signed another paper. Article 25 puts him instantly in charge if they invoked it while they were all huddled down there. Wouldn’t even need the Cabinet in that case.

One can only fervently hope.

Election eve part two
Monday January 04th 2021, 11:42 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Come on, Georgia, we’re counting on you. The whole country will be celebrating with you! And then we can get these vaccinations off the ground.

I was wondering when what tier would go next so I looked it up and was gobsmacked at how few doses there were out there right now.

My state says check with your county. My county says check with your provider’s system. My provider’s system says check with Public Health over at the county. The bottom line: they ain’t got’em and there’s no system and there’s no plan.

In two weeks there will start to be one, if we have the votes in place to make the government govern. Go Georgia!

Meantime, we do have some doses being held for an unspecified other county that doesn’t have the equipment to accept them. So, what, are they going to life-flight them to Monterey to beat the clock on the hours they can be out of the fridge?

I do wonder, though, why the run-off is being held after the new Congress is sworn in: because what that does is make the winners the least-senior members of the Senate. That used to matter in terms of what committee assignments you got to have.

My grandfather was there from 1950-1974 and when he retired, he resigned I forget if it was a day early or a week early so that his successor could have first choice over all the other incoming freshmen and a quicker trajectory towards potential future chairmanships.

It caused a bit of a stir.

Would that today’s Republicans looked for such harmlessness in their loopholes.

There are good ones at Stanford
Friday December 18th 2020, 11:10 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Politics

A dear friend is an attending physician at Stanford and was just offered the Pfizer vaccine.

He has talked about its jaw-dropping success.

He turned it down. Oh yes he absolutely wants it as much as anybody and to protect his wife and kids and he thinks the FDA should have approved those first two vaccines sooner.

But there is such a thing as ethics. He is not on the front lines dealing with covid patients. He’s dealing with a lack of beds for his patients, sure, but he is not directly exposed day in day out one-on-one to a monstrous rush of ferociously infectious people needing so much care and the constant extra shifts and the pressure and the intense grief and lack of sleep and even more exposure.

The residents, the interns, the nurses and the janitorial staff in those areas are, and as headlines all over the country pointed out today, some pointy-haired boss allotted all of 17 shots for those thousands of front liners and saved the rest of their first shipment for People Who Matter More Than You. People who were not working with covid patients at all. Some telecommuting only. People who were as safe as any of us can be right now.

When called on it they blamed it on the computer.

Yeah no. Not his turn. Give his to someone who’s putting their life on the line for their patients and then comes back the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next, to do it all over again.

Uncle Bob
Friday November 13th 2020, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Family,Politics

I am totally going to steal my cousin Jim’s FB post because I know my mom can’t see anything there and it’s about her baby brother who died four years ago; he was the Senator whose seat Mike Lee unfortunately is now in. Plus it’s a hoot.

Note that Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Chris Dodd hashed out the beginnings of what would eventually become the ACA, part of why the Kochs and the Tea Party went after Bob so hard. He said at the time that Americans can’t compete on the world market as long as they know they’re one medical disaster away from losing everything.

Jim wrote:

“So this sounds like the setup for a joke, but it’s actually a true story.
In 2008, four Democratic senators were running for their party’s presidential nomination: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd. Dodd was the longest of longshots, and he was getting depressed that his campaign was going nowhere. My father wanted to make him feel better.
“Tell you what, Chris,” Dad said. “When you’re president, how about you make me Treasury Secretary?”
Dodd smiled. “You got it,” he said.
This began a trend. The next time Dad saw Joe Biden, he said, “Chris Dodd just told me that when he’s president, he’ll make me Secretary of the Treasury. Do you have a better offer?”
“Sure. I’ll make you Chairman of the Federal Reserve,” Biden said.
So Dad approached Obama and said, “So Dodd’s promised me Treasury, and Biden says he’ll make me Chairman of the Federal Reserve. What can you give me?”
“How about Secretary of Defense?” Obama said.
Armed with these three offers, Dad found himself in an elevator with Hillary Clinton, and he reviewed all three of the promises from the other candidates.
“Well, looks like I have no choice, Bob,” Hillary said. “I’m going to have to put you on the ticket.”
In the last days of his life, Dad told this story repeatedly. Whenever Hillary was mentioned in conversation, Dad would say, “I’m her running mate.”
I miss my dad. That’s all.”