Friday, July 31, 2009

Jaunty Jackalope

Well, that went... (*caff caff*)... well. The only (heh) remaining issue is scratchy sound quality, which I suspect has something to do with drivers on this Dell Inspiron 1525.

Going from Hardy to Intrepid to Jaunty via Upgrade Manager is maybe not the best idea. It preserves a lot of history, including some stuff that really needs to change (like the grub menu.lst), which interacts in strange ways. I repartitioned and did a fresh install, discovering to my horror just how much isn't in Ubuntu 9.04 after all. The hours of prep and backup paid off big time.

Btw... GNU Backgammon 0.9.0 is in the repositories, not part of the distribution.

Update: I always forget how dead easy the Apache2 install is on Debian-based systems like Ubuntu. Even CGI comes out of the box (scripts go in /usr/lib/cgi-bin), and all I had to do was create two symbolic links at the command line to enable user directories. Not bad. (PHP is even easier.)


Thursday, July 30, 2009


Recognize that? It's the magic word employed by average linuxbox users who upgrade Ubuntu Hardy Heron to Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex to Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope in a single span of 20 hours.

There are a number of things that go wrong. There are a number of things that look right. Which is which? It's 3 a.m. Sleep is required...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Recognize that? It's the secret word from the wizard's cave in Adventure. The game was full of simple wonders, but that and some others† struck a clanking note with me. I suppressed it.

(I.e., zorton, xyzzy, thurb, thgirw, snoeze, samoht, rubliw, plugh, plover, phuggg, noside, melenkurion, knerl, klaetu, foo, foe, fie, fee, blerbi)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Women's British Open this week

The Women's British Open field, at large on Thursday.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Bryophyte Flora of North America

Mosses, hepatics and hornworts — oh, my!

I wanted to major in this field in college, but my advisor convinced me the job market was about as bad as tenured professorships in Beowulf studies.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mexico 5 - U.S. 0 in Gold Cup

About what I expected. Now, what the heck is the Gold Cup to the FIFA World Cup? Credit to Mexico for a second period rout, starting with three unanswered goals in ten minutes that sent the U.S. team out to lunch.

I see Michelle Wie is pushing the half million dollar mark for the year, $469,541 after tying for 23rd place at the Evian World Masters. She's established herself in a short list of women golfers who can take first place in any given tournament du jour. Maybe a good sign for the Women's British Open next week...?

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Too lazy for evolution polemics? Delegate!

There's at least one good site out there that takes on the creationists in exhaustive detail.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Letterman blackout idea

How about this? Tina Fey walks across camera while Dave Letterman is doing his classic back-to-the-audience-lean-against-proscenium-stage-right schtick — and she's wearing waders. When Letterman faces the audience, he doubletakes and Fey says, "Hiya, Dave! Are ya happy to see me, or is that a bong in your pants?"


Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Abuse potential"

Gold-plated garden gnomes? I'd have thought this sort of thing was more Swiss than Kraut.

At All Saints Catholic Church, here in Cedar Rapids, a hotbed of vinegary potato and three-bean salads, that particular gesture is used by parishioners to bless the eucharistic ministers chosen every Sunday to visit the sick and homebound. Older members with longer memories usually manage to spread the fingers slightly, or introduce a slight crook in the elbow.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another argyle haiku by the wayside

Botero likes his
   women fat, but worse, his men
      aren't so thin either!

     — F. Riley Hall, More skindeep satire (2009)

Argument is logical. Persuasion is not.

    —F. Riley Hall, Bonedeep aphorisms (2006)

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Monday, July 20, 2009

I hate "preventive medicine"

Liberals really grind my gallstones, sometimes. If all we get out of "health care reform" is Eat your spinach! I'm going to puke.

1. Sick people pay through the nose. Fix that!

2. Medigap!? What the hell is Medigap, and why are we even having this discussion?

3. Government option, single-payer health insurance, please. Not "wellness" insurance. Not jump-through-hoops-before-you-get-any insurance.

4. Make one of the options the simple BEST option! Complex systems break down fast.

5. Outlaw CORBA. Affordable, transferable, private health insurance is a right.

Pay for it by raising taxes! Obviously. Most people will pay taxes gladly if they see their own money coming back to them in the form of free services — health care (not just health insurance), proactive bridge maintenance and infrastructure repair, veterans G.I. bills, moon mission spinoffs like Teflon, etc. Tax the velocity of offshore accounts both ways, going out and coming in. Tax Bill Gates at 95%, and treat charitable foundations as tax havens if that is their obvious intended purpose.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cold Summer, Cool Software

Can't say I remember more than half a dozen summers this cool, and I'm 64. Must be a chill from the Arctic as all that ice sucks up latent heat before melting.

In unrelated news, installed 3.1 on my Ubuntu Hardy box this evening, plus an extension called "Language Tool" — alleged to be a grammar checker, but it only flags the word "happen" in this test phrase: Tom wand Jerry are happen. Not very grammatical.

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Friday, July 17, 2009


    After the Children of Israel had wandered for thirty-nine years in the wilderness, Ferdinand Feghoot arrived to make sure that they would finally find and enter the Promised Land. With him, he brought his favorite robot, faithful old Yewtoo Artoo, to carry his gear and do assorted camp chores.
    The Israelites soon got over their initial fear of the robot and, as the months passed, became very fond of him. Patriarchs took to discussing abtruse theological problems with him, and each evening the children all gathered to hear the many stories with which he was programmed. Therefore it came as a great shock to them when, just as their journey was ending, he abruptly wore out. Even Feghoot couldn't console them.
    "It may be true, Ferdinand Feghoot," said Moses, "that our friend Yewtoo Artoo was soulless, but we cannot believe it. He must be properly interred. We cannot embalm him as do the Egyptians. Nor have we wood for a coffin. But I do have a most splendid skin from one of Pharoah's own cattle. We shall bury him in it."
    Feghoot agreed. "Yes, let this be his last rusting place."
    "Rusting?" Moses cried. "Not in this dreadful dry desert!"
    "Ah!" sighed Ferdinand Feghoot, shedding a tear, "I fear you do not realize the full significance of Pharoah's oxhide!"
— Grendel Briarton, "Through Time & Space With Ferdinand Feghoot!"
Thank you, Fortune, for this mystic relic of the dim past, but truth to tell it's funny how these visionary moments fade faster than broccoli on a unicycle.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

A British Open Mind

The golfing day's story was over by 8 o'clock (CST) this morning, but the announcers babbled on, droned on, carried on, biographed on, camaraderied on, joked on, interviewed on, pretended on and on and on that something — anything — was going on.

But the scenery at Turnberry is amazing. There's nothing like that sinking feeling (empathically realized) a truly superior golfer gets standing at the bottom of a carefully dressed, hand manicured six foot deep sheep bunker. And a green links course? Weird, almost as weird as Big John Daly r-r-r-amblin' through the green in those green and yellow plaid trousers like some eldritch bard on a year's sabbatical. I watched for awhile, but the drama won't come until Tiger Woods' charge on Saturday, and Tom Watson (*ahem, pardon*) won't be in it Sunday. I dozed off a bit...

After that, I went down to Iowa City this afternoon to talk to Edie at The Knitting Shoppe about purling and the distinction between intarsia and Fair Isle, which is out there in the firths of something Scotland, and came back to town slowly, through Grant Wood country. Ok, maybe Wood cheated when he painted his humpty dumpty landscapes through a fish-eye lens — but south of here is Grant Wood country, the self-same rolling hills planted to corn this time of year. The fields are combed out neatly in enormous rows, everything is green, like Big John striding through the green. It occurred to me that I love this planet, and then it occurred to me why.

Like knitting, like sweaters, like golf and greens, like Grant Wood, the Earth clothes you in herself, in the same stuff as the corn, sky, clouds, green, like wrapping you in a sweater at birth. Like ecology. Considering what DNA is like (it's like knitwear), that is the exact minimum truth. Mother Earth.

It's fun when three big ideas collide like barium pyrotechnics.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cheney Death Squad, Giuliana Sgrena

Remember when U.S. troops fired on a just-released Italian hostage's motorcade in Bagdad back in 2005?

The released hostage was Giuliana Sgrena, a journalist; she was wounded, the Italian SISMI intelligence agent who negotiated her release (Major General Nicola Calipari) was killed, and the incident caused the Italian government to pull out of Bush's coalition of the reluctant, or at least contibuted to Italian backlash against the war.

Do you suppose the Cheney death squads had orders to silence unfriendly journalists from ally nations — like Sgrena? The propaganda negatives from this one incident alone could be interpreted as failure.

Just a possibility, just speculation, just blowing hot air, not accusing anybody of actually doing something that wouldn't surprise a kid in kindergarten... But what else is so potentially explosive about a simple "seek and destroy" mission statement? Another possibility, of course, could be an attempt to steal a page out of the S.S. occupation handbook — i.e., underground civilian pacification.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Too much information!

Ravelry is like drinking from a fire hose.

Mass quantities of information about knitting (and crocheting, whatever that is) by intimidating, talented, beautiful people and a few of us clinkers. I especially liked the cardigan sweaters modelled by actual overweight Grumpy Gus grandfathers.

Essentially a giant scrapbook that everyone else can see, but everyone's got one and everybody shares. Not a familiar concept, just like Open Source!

Update 28 July - The pronunciation is interesting. You can hear different voices say rivalry, revelry or ravel-ry.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Project #1... check!

My little knitting project turned out to be a samurai needle caddy. It was a rectangle about five inches wide by three inches deep, all garter stitch as befits a newbie project. Slide your needles into the weave and hang it on the wall horizontally. Samurai knitting needles.

Oddly enough, it turns out that gauge depends almost entirely on the needle size. And those Silvalume™ needles are useless¹ — they slide out of knitting loops like a maglev rail gun. Bamboo works fine.

¹De gustibus non disputandum est. YMMV.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009


Eun-Hee Ji won the U.S. Women's Open with a 20-foot birdie putt on the last shot of the game. Far out, that's my reaction, but I wish we'd had a three-way playoff — Ji, Wie and Creamer.

<nonsequitur>Many years ago, when life on the hippie fringe included Rules for Right Living, I picked up a hitchhiker in Des Moines on a cold and rainy October night. The bastard had just gotten out of prison and was headed home to beat up his wife. You have to translate that... I've noticed that guys who get out of prison can't decompress, and when you put a lot of that survival attitude and loud taunting banter in line at a McDonald's in downtown Denver, the effect on ordinary people is unnerving. It's like post-traumatic stress disorder with no redeeming social value. It's no wonder cops lose it. (Non sequitur? Art imitating life when you least expect it.)</nonsequitur>

Ji won $580,000 this afternoon. I have to say, the translater who helped Ji with NBC sport reporter Roger Maltbie's wrap-up interview was first-class. It's about time us American dunderheads associate bright, intelligent Asians with clear, intelligent prose, and not the easy-to-ridicule broken English we Merkins expect up here on our cheeseburger thrones. The tours are learning.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Last Knit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wie and Gulbis missing in action

The U.S. Women's Open, in its near-infinite wisdom, somehow managed to shoot itself in all available feet and disqualify Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis from this year's tournament. Disappointing.

Wie should have been exempt based if not on popularity then on performance. She's 12th on the 2009 money list with over $435,000 and change in 11 starts (5 top 10 finishes) this year.

Eye candy specialist Gulbis is no hack either, unlike everybody's favorite famously weatherbeaten 49 year old Hall of Fame has-been, Juli Inkster, currently tied for 61st place and blazing along like paint drying in the sun. But heck, who am I kidding? Even if Inkster were winning, I'd be watching Republica Deportiva on Univision.

So who's watching the U.S. Women's Open? Ex-Commissioner Carolyn Bivens on the stagecoach back to East Bumbleflake, that's who. Yawn.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Good news, everyone!

I babble on about juries and honeybees in the online Science News Letters column...


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Special Rules for Men Learning to Knit

#1. THERE ARE NO KNOTS IN KNITTING. Make loops. Do NOT tighten them like tying a fly or belaying a sheet!
You can even dispense with the ubiquitous slipknot that most knitters start with. The slipknot is merely a convenience; it attaches yarn to needles. Purists, at least those who use double cast on, consider it redundant. Got it? There are no knots in knitting, only loops.

So don't make knots. Knitting is easier than that, and what holds the work together is math (specifically topology), not physics or friction. Zero force required.

If you can't help using slipknots or snugging everything down small and tight, at least use 100% wool yarn, not acrylic. Acrylic yarn has the elastic properties of a brick.

BAMBOO KNITTING NEEDLES can help a newbie calibrate yarn tensions. If the yarn is too tight, the work won't slide on the needle. Huge problem. Aluminum needles seem friendlier, but they're slick as a hockey puck and give newbies no real clues about tension, other than causing it.

#2. As the Gerudo assassin tells Link, don't take her craft lightly.
Learn the Continental method of knitting. It has a mystique, mainly because the videos tend to feature older women who speak with German accents. It's easy, fast, efficient — and impossible. I use the American method.

I used to do Motorola 6502 assembler language for fun, and maybe I'm nuts, but I see a strong similarity between that and knitting. Massive attention to picayune detail that produces a sudden, beautiful result like magic.

Ok, some correlations... 1's and 0's live in computer chips, knits and purls live in yarn, and Somebody Makes Them Happen. Simple ON and OFF makes a universe our grandparents can't understand. Simple loops left and loops right make a world our grandchildren can't imagine.

Computer program printouts are like printed knitting patterns. These are static instructions. What the computer does, what the knitter does, is execute printed instructions — algorithms — and that's dynamic. Add wool and needles, keyboards and pixelation, class libraries (steek, Fair Isle, cable, bobble, moss...) and you get Art, whether blogs or cardigans, Firefox or ski caps.

This is immensely appealing.

#3. It's possible to drink beer and knit. Requires a straw. Beware of yogurt.
German pilsners only, please. In a pinch, Dos Equis or Corona (hold the lime). Kirin is ok. Avoid American beers except Bud, Hamm's, Stroh's Fire Brewed, Cool Brewed Piel's or PBR. Substitutions allowed include Lapsang Souchong, Instant Folgers Flavor Crystals, Swiss Miss Instant Cocoa, Canada Dry or 2% milk. Don't smoke near acrylic yarn. It melts, then burns.

Smaller needles, thinner yarns, make smaller, neater work. Beer makes everything too big, including errors — like spiders on LSD make crazyweb.

#4. Other recipes for disaster.
My only accomplishments as a knitter to date (I've been learning for several days now) are two different kinds of casting on, and garter stitch. I don't dare purl yet. The thing that holds me back is pretty simple: MY YARN EXPLODES.

I can't explain it. My wife just laughs at me (she's not entirely onboard with this masculine knitting thing, but it tickles her funny bone) and says she was a better knitter than me at the age of 10. (But she also quit knitting that year, so... ;-)

I have, by dint of close observation and tongue-biting concentration, discovered what happens when my yarn explodes: The needle slips out of one or two inches of almost-finished knitting. That, or it slips out of my cast-on stitches and I lose about half an inch from the pointy bit.

This allows the loops to vanish in an unintelligible mass of soft, warm, chaos. Worsted which has lost its twist and been knitted flat several times tends to forget where its loops were. As far as where the blinding flash and incendiary fulminations come from, I haven't located the source of those, possibly Chicxulub.

I have no solution, sadly. However, I've stood on dignity and promised my wife I would still be knitting ten years from now. I just hope I'm knitting with the second third six feet of yarn from this ball of dark green 100% Peruvian Highland Merino Wool.

#5. Sheep or goats? Aptitude or attitude? Pearls before sheep?
Before you even start, be honest. If someone were to hand you a Fender, could you do the instrument justice?

Beethoven had talent, but no ears. We, you and I — we have ears to hear, but no particular talent, or at least not talent like that. Would you be a slave to talent, or satisfied with a simple soul that merely yearns to soar? A good listener. A music appreciater. Somebody who likes Veronika Part — on Dave Letterman's Late Show! (Not bad, though. All Johnny Carson could discover was... Tiny Tim. Bette Midler.)

Computer programming was the furnace I could walk through, although never entirely unscathed. Toward the end of my journey, I was scorched. But I knew the flame, I knew a kind of beauty.

If someone hands you a pencil and a sketchbook, will you be Leonardo? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, or da Vinci?

Can you match a $6 ball of wool and a couple of metal splinters with aptitude? I've been at this for a couple of weeks. In that time, the magic has sputtered and caught fire twice in my hands. I made an inch or two of stuff. I want to learn.

I want another beer.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Eastern Iowa Yarn Shoppes, plus Go

The Knitting Shoppe
2141 Muscatine Ave
Iowa City, IA 52240-2119
(319) 337-4920

Very friendly, and they've got great yarn — "100% Pure Peruvian Highland Merino Wool," etc. Ask nicely, and Edie, the proprietor, might even wind your skein into a ball on the shop swift. Recommended!

I have to ramble on about this shop for a bit. The counter faces the door. On the right as you come in you'll find yarn. It's in racks of diamond-shaped bins hung along two walls, skeins on skeins of it. There's a long wooden table with chairs suitable for visiting and talking about wool, or help sessions with the knowledgeable. I didn't explore the other side, but there's a swift and a ball-winder, lots of books, a few windows.

Besides all the world-class quality wools, there's a corner with knitting needles, mostly Clover™ bamboo, in various sizes. The interior is heavy bare wood beams. Good atmosphere, and a high synergy shop. Look for it about ten walking minutes north and west of Sycamore Mall in Iowa City, just where Muscatine bends.

(If this weirds you out, a guy writing about yarn, I'll try to write about beer next time. No promises.)

Then there's this...

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Briar Patch

I see Joe Biden has been telling the Israelis, sure, go ahead, it's your own country to defend, go ahead and bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities.

Just stop with the settlements already, or we might just sit back and watch the Iranians go ape. (It's our Policy.)

From the C.I.A. World Factbook:
  • Iran, "slightly larger than Alaska" (1,600 thousand km2, pop. 66,429,284, median age 27) NEAR NUCLEAR

  • Israel, "slightly smaller than New Jersey" (20 thousand km2, pop. 7,233,701, median age 29) NUCLEAR

  • Denmark, "slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts" (43 thousand km2, pop. 5,500,510, median age 40) SANE

  • Gaza Strip, "slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC" (360 km2, pop. 1,551,859, median age 17) TEEN AGED MUTANT NINJA TURTLE
You may recall from your ancient history lessons that Iran is the bit more than Saddam Hussein could chew that forced him to resort to nerve gas to get off the battlefield alive, an experience that convinced the Ayatollahs they need the atomic bomb.

It had nothing to do with us. Thanks, Dick. Thanks a bunch.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Boppin' Bee

serenely venus
skips a little backward
for that sweet anorexic baby boy
that needle in his heart
that needle in her thigh
decadent postapocalyptic insolence
rap trash on
butcher paper
2 fast 4 u?
hi, koo —
Scarecrow, can you be
a little quieter, please?
Baby's fast, asleep.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

En Tus Brazos: Bravo!

Best short animated love story on the web, with a plot so subtle even mentioning it might give the final revelation away.

First shown in Paris, September 2006.

Update: "I got it the first time, Dad! She's twirling her mustache. Do you mind?" [Watches Hello Kitty zombie...]

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Disney says Ponyo will be in theaters August 14, 2009

The Disney version, known simply as Ponyo, seems to have scrubbed out the "cultural differences" of the Studio Ghibli original pretty nicely. Probably not a bad idea at all. I'm not sanguine about Ponyo's chances in theatrical release, even in the art houses, so hopefully Christmas 2009 means "straight to DVD"...?

I'll wait for the DVD anyway, myself. Look for John Lasseter on track one to chirp on and on with breathless re-anticipation for "the art of Hayao Miyazaki," downplaying the peculiar relationship between Ponyo (a goldfish girl with chicken legs seeking desperately to escape from her father's iron influence) and her father (a human wizard at odds, for some reason, with Ponyo's beautiful sea-goddess mother).

Probably no Japanese story will turn out to have been so re-worked for U.S. consumption since Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) — e.g., confronting pollution in the Inland Sea, the Japanese father bellows, "Stay, Ponyo, you'll only be safe here!" while the American father cheers, "Go, Ponyo, go out and save the world!" It will be interesting to see if Disney includes the usual subtitled Japanese tracks on the DVD this time. Or even if they go ... straight to Blu-Ray?

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Men Aren't Supposed To Knit

I'm 64, I'm retired, and I've given myself carpal tunnel syndrome over the years by "resting" my wrists on the hard front edge of non-ergonomically designed keyboards — especially the forest green, folded aluminum box keyboard on the old Kaypro 10. Also mashing buttons on videogame controllers for hours on end, which is another story. I have to relax my spasming hands and get some manual dexterity back, somehow.

Somehow. I could almost read in the dark from the lightbulb going on over my head. Aha-Erlebnis! What about knitting? I'm already impressed by the fibrous crafts, which seem to stretch in unbroken matriarchal lineage 2,000 grandmothers back to the Upper Stone Age. I can imagine the birth of weaving — sheep not quite domesticated, lambs slaughtered, skins scraped and pelts warm and woolly, some 12 year old genius kid pulling off yarn for a lark and fiddling with a bone discovering Loops. Discovering, in other words, What You Can Do With Yarn.

Because her Cro-Magnon brain works differently than her ancestors, she recapitulates half a million years of Paelaeolithic stone knapping, in fiber, in a single afternoon, and by the end of summer, this one amazing child has laid the foundations of a modern Craft for 15 billion thoroughly happy women.

The single most amazing aspect of fiber arts is their PORTABILITY. Think about that! The mother of all craft, no longer twelve years old, is a fully-grown matriarch of 17, respected in her tribe — probably a shaman — but her kid is no genius. Just bright at best, no more than curious. And, as primates do, mom shows her kid how to Do Loops, with slow, exaggerated, easy-to-see motions. Like nectar, knowledge pours undiminished from one silver-clad inverted skull into another. And because this is a society that values memory (no television, no books, no distractions except the normal terror of staying alive), the whole body of expertise passes whole. It's portable.

And, apparently, it's female. Right away, I've noticed that just intending to knit causes eyebrows to raise, while actually doing the untoward thing — buying a pair of knitting needles, e.g. — practically forces a flood of self-deprecating humor in order to get past the lady on the cash register. My wife, fortunately, has a stash of yarn and is prepared to part with a skein or two of the acrylic stuff, sparing me another gender-bending ordeal at Walmart. My wife... She is staunchly loyal and keeps her slackening jaw tightly closed without actually grinding. I think she Understands, on some high intellectual plane, what I'm trying to do here, but my daughter just laughs and blows it off. "Ok, Dad. Enjoy."

How? That's my question. How? So far, the results of this excursion into Tangletop have been unsatisfactory, if only because the air frequently turns incandescent blue in my vicinity. Things Happen. Thanks to the internet and a number of free videos at YouTube or places like, I've picked up a few essentials, but... For example, when I do Two Needle Cast On, I make taut, manly knots and feel myself accomplished to see about a foot of tightly packed stitches with an even, pleasant keel along the bottom edge. Beauty, sez I. Then, like the girls in the videos lead on (I'm 64, they are girls! Women are my age), I begin to Knit The Second Row. Weirdly enough, some stitches are BIG, some stitches are small and — how to put this? — some are invisible. Or they lean like little yarn Cheerios out of the design, unattached to anything else. And, with just a momentary lapse of attention, the needle in my right hand Falls Out Of The Loops and lands with a toink! on the hardwood floor. Several opportunities for Blue Air have presented themselves in the course of these discoveries, but...

Once, just once so far, I managed to Knit The Second Row all the way back to within an inch of my starting point on the left needle. Then — and I don't know how this happened — the whole left end EXPLODED.

The goddesses of knitting are laughing at me. It's only just begun.

Update — Aha! The Yarn Harlot offers some helpful advice on this topic in her book At Knit's End, leaving aside her charmingly naive claim that knitting can't explode:

In the nineteenth century, knitting was prescribed to women as a cure for nervousness and hysteria. Many new knitters find this sort of hard to believe because, until you get good at it, knitting seems to cause those ailments.
         — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, A.K.E., p. 51 (2005, Storey Publishing, paperback)

Clearly, this applies to men too. And as far as brightly-hued and toxic atmospheres go, I'm struck by the similarities between knitting and golf. This afternoon, for example, I saw Michelle Wie mouth a perfect short bit of hyperfunctional Anglo-Saxon at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic on ESPN2. Understandable, her missed stroke was the difference between tied for third at $73,224 and first place at $210,000. That's a lot of woolgathering.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Troo Luv

Mark Sanford's unmanly public self-flagellation makes no sense to me. If he can afford to pay alimony and child support to the ex and her brood, and if Chapur is as crazy out of her mind as he is (a big if, I'll grant you), the American Way is to bail, scamper off to the Caribbean, keep six-toed hamsters and write Sex and the City episodes. Fish for marlin. Beat off sharks. Love a gun. Run with the booleans at Rum Rickey's. Drive an ambulance in Spanish Harlem. Clean a B-flat Benelli.