Friday, July 28, 2006

Five Questions

A cute little questionnaire from The Friday Five (or What to Post When You Have Nothing Really To Say):

The Friday Five for 28 July 2006 :: The Name Game!!!
This week's questions brought to you courtesy of [info]kaos1385

1. Are you named after anyone? If so, explain. I was named after a woman who was either a friend or a student's of my Dad's. I've never been clear on their relationship, but I don't think it had anything to do with my name, my parents just liked it. My middle name, Jeannette, was my dad's aunt's name, and his sister's.

2. Do you have your children's names picked out already? If so, is there any significance?
Yep. If we have a girl, her name will be Lucinda (after Lucinda Williams). Len thinks if we have a boy we'll name him H Ridley Schnegelsberg. H is his middle name, Ridley is my last name. Pray for a girl, ok?

3. If you were born a member of the opposite sex what would your name have been? Probably the same.

4. If you could re-name yourself what name would you pick and why? I don't think I would. I like my name.

5. Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do w/ your name constantly?
It's pretty hard to mispronounce my name. I get occasional misspellings (Leigh, mostly) and sometimes get called Lea. Sometimes I get asked if it stands for anything.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Why I'm Voting...

...In the August 8th Republican Primary

I live in Jackson County, Michigan. According to Michigan folklore, Jackson is the birthplace of the Republican party,which, at the time was a reaction against "slave power", which I suppose gives the place some good abolitionist history, but the county continues to be strongly Republican in it's conservative incarnation. No Democrat will be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from this county. So the Republican Primary is pretty much my chance to cast a vote for the person who will represent me.

This year, there is a choice. The incumbent, Joe Schwarz was elected to the U.S. House in 2004; he is being challenged by Tim Walberg. There are some big differences between the two, and while this district won't help change which party controls the House, I think it will help determine the tone.

Walberg accuses Schwarz of being a Liberal. While I happen to think that isn't an insult, I'm not delusional. Schwarz isn't liberal, he's a Republican because that is the party that best fits his political beliefs. He's pro-Iraq war, against the estate tax (at least he refers to it that way more often than "death tax"), for the Patriot Act. Eh. Read his page yourself.

But he is no wingnut. He is pro-choice, for embryonic stem cell research, against drilling in Alaska (and in the Great Lakes). He is against the ban on same sex marriage in Michigan.

I generally think Schwarz is a stand up guy and he genuinely wants what is best for Michigan and for this country. Unless the Democrats stand a candidate that doesn't try to out-conservative the Republican, I'll vote for him again in the general election in November. Do I agree with everything he does? No. But I believe he makes the U.S. House a better place. And, in these times, that's a start.

Friday, July 21, 2006

T-Shirt Woes

Despite not carpooling with Len, I have been working on the v-neck t-shirt. Make that, I have been trying to work on it, but instead I've been knitting and ripping the same 5 rows. I finally got to the point that I could divide for the v-neck and start adding stitches for the sleeve. The instructions for these maneuvers aren't exactly difficult, but my brain seems to have fallen out.

My first problem was deciding whether or not I was actually ready to start the neck and sleeves. This involved a tape measure, three different measurements, a lot of sweat, some tears, possibly swearing, and a very frightened boyfriend (he finally left the house). I finally decided that the pieces match closely enough.

The first instruction is to increase in the first stitch*, knit 80, turn. For some reason I think this means I should have 81 stitches on my right needle. I continue with this for a few rows. I finally realized something was wrong, counted the stitches which will make up the other side of the v-neck, and of course, there aren't enough. There aren't enough by 5 or 6 stitches. It took me a couple of times ripping these rows out for it to dawn on me what was going on.

I had made a working copy of the pattern; it is possible I had noted on that pattern which size I was making (or not) but I've lost the copy. I was assuming I was making the largest size. Looking at the pattern measurements, I certainly should have been making that size, but no, I am making one size smaller. Maybe I measured under my boobs when I started this folly? Perhaps delusions of smallness? In any case, someone is getting a v-neck t-shirt for Christmas and it probably isn't me.

Instead of a picture of knitting, I give you my first harvest of the year:
I had no idea that the pickling cucumbers would put out so early. It will be a frenzy of pickling at our house for the rest of the summer.

*An odd instruction for a Jaeger pattern. They usually give more thought to seaming.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Crummy Pictures of Pretty Garden

I want a decent camera for my birthday. But at least you can't see the weeds. Much.
The leeks, pickles and peppers are doing very well, in spite of my inattentive weeding.
The tomatoes have gone so wild, you can't see the grass growing up underneath the plants. You can, however, see our pathetic attempt to tie the plants up. We'll see if this works, the tomato cages I used last year so did not.
Despite our not-really-best efforts, something keeps eating our broccoli and sugar snap pea plants. So far we have tried fencing in the garden (with a lovely gate held closed by a bucket of rocks and beer cans), but whatever is getting in is small enough to get through. I've also tried black pepper. The creature seems to like it's vegetables spicy. The two or three bean plants that came up look nice though. So that's something.
Look! Jalapenos! (And yes, I do know there should be an accent over the 'n')
And a red bell pepper. How cool is it that you can stick a plant in the ground and a few months later get food?

Lay and worse

One more small bit on Ken Lay: The worst part of this whole scenario is that Texas law holds that if the convicted dies before sentencing, the conviction (and indictment) is vacated. Apparently the point of that law is he can no longer participate in his defense in the sentencing hearing and any subsequent appeals. Being dead and all. So, officially, he is no longer guilty. While he certainly is in all but the most deluded minds, there is a practical problem: the former Enron employees who are suing him can no longer use the trial and conviction as evidence, because they never happened. Officially. The government* won't be able to seize assets to make restitution because they are no longer the assets of a guilty man.

You know what my mother would call Ken Lay's death? A Fuck You Message.

*Let's just pretend the government would have managed to seize Lay's "meager" $10 million. No really. Stop laughing.

I was just working out something to say about the Middle East, when I hopped over to Franklin's The Panopticon. Whatever I had to say, he says far better. I do want to recommend, however, if you are interested in the What and Why of the Middle East, read Juan Cole's blog Informed Comment. He writes lengthy and frequent posts, which provide the context that the American media can't or won't.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ken Lay

Is it just me, or do you feel kind of cheated now that he's dead?

Last night, NPR repeated his "I'm living the American nightmare" witness stand whine. You know that nightmare? The where you recklessly drive your business into a tree, taking your employees and their retirement funds with you? But you survive, only to die of a heart attack in your vacation home, near Aspen, instead of in prison where you belonged. That American nightmare.

Not the one where you are unemployed without a retirement fund because you believed the CEO's Go-Go rhetoric.

What an unsatisfying ending.