Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Surprise Business Trip

Sorry if blog entries are either short and pithy and/or too few this week, I found out last minute that I had to go to Zurich to make a sales presentation.

Yes, I'm in Switzerland
I ended up flying out on Monday night (Memorial Day), and I'll be flying home this Friday morning. Actually, I have seen nothing of Zurich so far, and probably won't have much time to explore. Here is the view from my hotel, on this cloudy, rainy week in Zurich.

Current Knitting
I had to come up with something to work on during the long flight and during sleepless nights as I get used to the time change. I didn't want to start a new/complex design, and lately I have been in the mode of finishing up things, as opposed to starting on multiple new projects.

How many of you remember the bed blanket/coffin cover I started years ago using the Andean kid alpaca that I got for practically nothing?

This project takes little or no thinking. Working on it, is more like fidgeting rather than knitting, so it has been a perfect project to work on during the varying lengths of knitting time I've had. Here's a closeup of the simple pattern, for those that are newer to the blog.

I know, the color is ghastly, but I eventually anticipate dyeing it some lovely deep crimson, or perhaps a smoky teal color.

Either way, it will look lovely as a lining for my casket.

Current Reading
If you're the kind of person that considers books to be things of great value, then I think you will truly enjoy this rather odd title that my sister-out-of-law recommended to me.

Outwitting History, by Aaron Lansky is the story of how a young college student decided that as Yiddish stopped being spoken by many of his contemporaries, the libraries of their parents and grandparents were being disposed of and destroyed at a pace that alarmed him enough to do something about it. I got totally wrapped up in Mr. Lansky's autobiographical adventure of trying to save the Yiddish culture encased in the Yiddish books he collected. I know the book sounds odd and possibly even boring, but the story is vibrant and alive and highly pertinent to the lives of many.

I've always thought that Yiddish was one of the most expressive languages. Kind of like the onomatopoeia of emotions, rather than sounds. Mr. Lansky brings this expressive language alive in his story.

A reverence for books and culture is a requirement for enjoying this jewel of a book.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Unofficial Start of Summer?...

...Or the one day a year dedicated to honoring U.S. troops.

God forbid you should make the mistake of wishing a Catholic, "happy Good Friday!" Most will be all too happy to chide you and let you know Good Friday, despite it's happy sounding name, is the annual remembrance of the death of Christ. Wish that same person a happy Memorial Day, and most will gladly wish you the same.

Now, it's my turn to chide.

This day in the U.S., is the annual remembrance of a lot more people dying than one man. It is more so, the day to honor all the men and woman who have sacrificed either part or all of their lives to protect the potential for freedom and liberty and liberty in this country.

So, today, as you fire up your barbecue grills, take the cover off your pool and crack open a beer, try to take a moment to send a prayer or good wishes to the folks that truly allow this country the potential to be great. Or better yet, send off a care package to someone you know currently serving, or if you don't know anyone, use the website to send off somethings they suggest to an anonymous soldier.

Current Knitting
I've been working on finishing as much as possible. First, I finished knitting the fourth (I thought it was the fifth, but I've only made four so far) pair of felted clog slippers, and sewed up all the seams. They are all now ready to be felted.

I also finished the colorblock cardigan.

I ended up using these great glass buttons that I had on an old sample card. Since they already came in multiple colors that worked well with the colors of the sweater, I was in luck.

You can't see it very well, but the buttons look like they're made the same way as marbles are made. I will try to get a picture of me modelling the cardigan after I've had the opportunity to block it.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the FiberTrends clog slippers, Clare asks, "What yarn did you use for your clogs?"

I almost always use Cascade 220 for my felting projects, and that's what I used for all the pairs of clogs I made. Like you, this is one of my favorite patters from FiberTrends.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oil Companies' Veiled Threats

Who's the biggest enemy of conservationists and folks pushing for bio-fuels? That would, of course, be the oil companies.

It's My Bat
The New York Times recently reported that the oil companies are virtually guaranteeing the inflated cost of oil and gas in this country because of the president's recent call to increase production of bio-fuels. The oil companies' claims that uncertainty in the amounts of bio-fuels that will be produced, are making them reduce their increased building and upgrading of refineries to process oil.

In essence, this is their way of putting a crimp in the pipeline of petroleum products, which will keep prices inflated.

Without knowing much about this industry, I can only hope this blows up in their collective faces. Perhaps this will be one more impetus for Americans to look for alternative methods for producing energy. I'm also hoping that the decreased capital going into petroleum refineries will be put into alternative sources such as ehtanol and bio-diesel production.

Current Knitting
I started work on the button band and collar for the colorblock cardigan.

Trying to get a picture of it, required some participation from Nico. Despite his playful paws, you can see, I didn't get very far (almost finished one side of the button band and sewing it on), before I got distracted and had an overwhelming need to work on something different (again).

I realized that I only needed to make one more pair of the FiberTrends felted clog slippers before I was done with the five pairs I originally set out to make. So I worked on this.

I'm almost done with this last pair, I just have to finish the outer sole and "bumper" on the last slipper of this pair, and of course sew up the seams and felt them.

Current Reading
I most recently forced myself to finish a book, which hasn't happened for a while.

George Saunders' In Persuasion Nation was not my type of book. It came highly recommended by the staff at my local book store, but I found it more petulant and naive, than inspiring and genius, like some folks seem to feel about his writing. Although, I have to admit, this could be a case where my taste in literature isn't sophisticated enough to "get" his brilliance. But honestly, I almost put this book down without finishing about four times. Fortunately for Mr. Saunders, the book is short and a quick read.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hide The Problem

The Army is getting as bad as the Catholic Church in terms of tranferring the problems somewhere else, rather than firing someone who is homophobic and racist.

Why Didn't They Fire Her?
What an amazing standard of acceptance. It's not okay to say you're a homo, but it is okay to unprofessionally send homophobic and racist e-mails to a potential recruit, and just get re-assigned.

Sgt. Marcia Ramode, a Brooklyn-based Army recruiter, was reassigned last week to a job at West Point, the Army’s service academy after allegedly sending an e-mail with some of the following comments to an African-American, who said he was gay:

gays are “disgusting and immoral”
the potential recruit should “go back to Africa”
he should do his “gay voodoo limbo tango and wango dance.”

The Army can't release how this sergeant was punished, and it is assumed she took a lesser job, and/or lesser pay. Having worked in Human Resources for decades now, that sergeant would have been fired for similar behavior in any other company than the military.

Clearly, this is just another example of how gay-hating sentiment is acceptable, but being gay isn't.

Current Knitting
I finished attaching the sleeves and seaming up the colorblock cardigan yesterday.

I also starting working on a very simple 1x1 ribbed button band.

Overall, I like the sweater a lot, and I think it will be a very versatile and nice sweater to have around for a chilly office or movie theater. However, I'm not overly fond of the yarn I used, and I won't be using it again (Araucania). I found it to be a little stiff and lifeless.

Although, it could be that I'm spoiled from handling the lovely handspun Merino for so long, and switching back to this yarn is a disappointment.

Current Spinning
I finished up the second bobbin of alpaca, and plied up a nice resulting yarn.

As I mentioned in comments yesterday, I have no idea what weight of yarn I made. I'm thinking it is probably a fingering weight yarn, but depending on what kind of drape I want in the fabric, it could easily be used as a DK weight yarn as well.

If I get the chance, I calculate the yards/pound amount, and see if that gives me a better idea.

Either way, I plan on dyeing this yarn, and I still don't know what I'll make from the result.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Fiberqat asked, "Did you know Mar tagged you?"

I was behind in my blog reading, and wasn't aware until I read your comment. Thanks for letting me know. As I mentioned in her comments, I was was very pleased to read what she wrote about my blog, but I won't be meme'ing myself.

Becky In Iowa made me laugh with, "Oh, and congrats on lighting another shitstorm."

I never realized Wiki's were so controversial. And I don't actually think I lit this shitstorm...I may have built the pile of shit, but I didn't light it (even though I do enjoy the warmth and comfort of sitting around a nice blazing shit-fire).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Do Wiki's Work?

From Wikipedia:

A wiki is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, and edit content. A collaborative technology for organizing information on Web sites, the first wiki (WikiWikiWeb) was developed by Ward Cunningham in the mid-1990s. Wikis allow for linking among any number of pages. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is one of the best known wikis.

Open-source wikis (such as Wikipedia) have been criticized for their reliability: certain individuals may maliciously introduce false or misleading content. Proponents rely on their community of users who can catch malicious content and correct it. Wikis in general make a basic assumption of the goodness of people.

Like All Things On The Internet...
...reliability of content should always be questioned.

One of the things I love about Wikipedia, is that it contains a great first place to start when researching information. More and more, when I Google the definition for something, the Wikipedia definition is one of the first items in the search results. It has always been very reliable for the kinds of definitions for which I search.

I've sometimes considered adding to this great communal piece of knowledge.

For instance, look up "kitchener stitch" on wikipedia. You'll note that it brings you to a section on "Grafting (knitting)." While it includes the words "Kitchener Stitch", it provides no link to a place where it describes how to actually do Kitchener grafting. I can't imagine it would be very difficult to add a new section to the Wikipedia on directions for Kitchener stitch, and then changing the current grafting option to link to it.

Like all things that rely on the basic goodness of others, I often wonder how long before the assumption of goodness is disproven, and the resource becomes useless.

Current Knitting
I finished up the second sleeve of the bulky pullover, sewed up the seams, bought a perfect button, and finished up one of my favorite designs I've done for a while.

The button, I bought at Twist. Again, she had exactly what I wanted. Here's a closeup of the collar and the button.

The button is made of ceramic, and it has a lovely mother-of-pearl-like glaze. It's made by "Annabelle Lee Art Creations," in Hamilton, Georgia, and while the picture doesn't show it off very well, it is more like a piece of jewelery than it is a button. Exactly the effect I was going for.

I will now get back to work on the colorblock cardigan, and sew that garment up.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my spinning of Mel's alpaca roving, Marilyn writes, "I think spinning alpaca is my new favorite. Used to be silk but it's a tough choice. Have you done a wpi on yours?"

I need to confess something here. I'm not sure how to do a "wraps per inch" measurement on my yarn. I even have this clever little needle case, with an inch-long indentation that helpl me with this measurement.

If it's a very lofty yarn (like this alpaca is), do you squeeze it together, or do you just leave it lofty? The difference on this yarn is about 22 WPI versus about 9 WPI. Suffice it to say that I will need to swatch this yarn before I decide on how to use it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Don't Speak Ill Of The Dead

Unless it's about a hateful prick that spoke ill of hundreds of the dead.

Yes, the man that turned Christianity in this country, into a synonym for hate. The man that blamed homosexuals for hurricanes in this country. The man that called the Islam prophet Mohammed, 'a terrorist.' Yes, this man is finally dead at the age of 73.

I blame his death on God's vengeance for the Iraq war.

Current Knitting
I was able to finish up the first sleeve on the bulky pullover.

I decided to use the same patterning on the cuff, even though it will make the cuff opening a little bit wide. Now I just have the last sleeve to work on, and then I'll have two sweaters that will need to be sewn up.

Current Spinning
I hadn't been spinning for a week or so, so I decided to get back to it.

This is the lovely alpaca that Mel sent me (from his and David's alapaca, Madelyn). I've finished spinning about half the roving now, and I'm convinced it's going to make a lovely fine knitting yarn.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the bulky pullover, Angie Cox writes, "I must say I think the collar on your sweater is gorgeous and wonder if you have any button in mind. You must post a picture wearing it."

I'm thinking a large, interesting shaped bone or wood button would be nice. I'm also considering making my own button with some of Kaffe's cotton fabrics he's designed for quilting. I'll have to try a few different ideas till I find something I like.

As far as modeling this sweater, it won't be me modeling it. This is really a woman's sweater, so I'll try to get the recipient to model it for the blog.

Ted asks, "Joe, have you done one of the catnip mice that Meg Swansen developed?"

No, I had never seen them until I Googled. They look very cool.

Geeksbewithyou asks, "Have you tried ketchup chips yet?"

Yes, I thought they were quite tasty. Very similar to our barbecue potato chips, but a little sweeter. I prefer Herr's Salt and Pepper potato very favorites.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Reason To Be Canadian

When it comes to food, there are a number of things, about which I am aware, that Canada does much better than this country.

Smarties vs. Smarties
Chocolate bars is the first foodgroup where Canadians have it all over Americans. The availability of the Aero bar, or the Coffee Krisp, and of course the Cadbury Wunderbar, give Canadians a much larger selection than we have here in the states.

Also, when an American hears the word "Smarties," they think about small twisted packages of compressed sugar pellets.

When a Canadian hears the same word, they think candy covered chocolate (similar to an M&M, I think...but I've never had the Canadian version).

And, of course, I've mentioned this before, but they have the best peanut butter.

Kraft Extra Creamy (Velouté) Peanut Butter. Last year, my sister-out-of-law was in Canada, and for a present, she brought me back a case of this stuff. I was down to my last jar (and they're big), so I was rationing my usage. Thaddeus ended up getting me another case for my birthday, so now I've got enough to last me for a couple more months.

And finally, if all this wasn't enough, the Canadians also have poutine.

Current Knitting
Despite all my good intentions, I didn't do any sewing up or knitting on the colorblock cardigan all weekend.

Instead, I spent all my knitting time on the bulky pullover, and I am loving it more and more.

You'll note I've finished the body and the collar (I'm planning on putting a nice button in the center of the neck), and I've started on the first sleeve. This has turned out to be a very successful design so far. Here's a closeup of the collar, including the button hole.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Lawyer-friend, Carol writes, "Another annoying thing about lawyers is the way they nitpick everything one says. For example, while you said that Tom and I are 'perfectly non-boorish,' I couldn't help but note you didn't say were were 'non-obnoxious'... "

Actually Carol is definitely not obnoxious, except in the best of ways. I've never met Tom, but based on e-mails of his that I've read, I'd have to put him in the non-obnoxious category as well.

Carol also asked, "How did Nico like his cat toy?"

Not so much. He'll run after it, but he doesn't carry it around and fetch it like he will for hours with his toy mouses we get in the pet store. Thaddeus thinks it's because it's either too soft, and/or that the overwhelming smell of the shampoo I used to help felt it, makes it distasteful to the cat. I'll try making another without a perfumed shampoo.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another QueerJoe Gross Generalization

In my experience, lawyers are some of the most obnoxious, boorish people on the planet.

As With Any Generalization...
...there are a number of exceptions. Carol and her husband, for instance, are both lawyers and perfectly non-boorish people.

My latest brush with the annoying population came during my lunch break from jury duty last week.

Since my jury duty took place in the county seat of my county, it's no surprise that I'd run into a lawyer or two. At lunch, I went to a small sandwich shop that had a little bit of seating. When I got there, there was a group of eight people that had pulled together a couple of tables, and were clearly in the process of having a business lunch. After a very brief period of time, I was able to easily determine the group of eight were lawyers, many if not all partners in a local firm. I could tell this because the main (most obnoxious) man in the group, who was leading the meeting, was discussing their firm's business in a voice loud enough so everyone in the sandwich shop could hear.

When they started discussing personnel issues of the staff at their firm, I started to get uncomfortable. I now have a complete run down of all the partners' secretaries in the firm, their responses to a "confidential" survey of their throughts on working for the firm, and their likelihood of being let go for various performance issues.

I couldn't help but ask myself a few questions. Did the meeting leader not realize the whole shop could hear their conversation? Did he not care? Did he not think it was completely inappropriate to be discussing these issues in a public forum? Did not one of his sycophantic drones have balls enough to ask him to stop, or minimally to speak more quietly?

I considered pretending to fall and hurt myself in the store to try and get one of their business cards so I could call and chat with the secretaries I now knew so much about, but I figured it wouldn't help anything.

Current Knitting
I was able to finish the last sleeve of the colorblock cardigan.

I will spend some of my weekend knitting time sewing up this garment, and starting on the button band and the collar. I won't be doing anything exotic, so it should go relatively quickly.

Based on some inspiration of Mel comments on a knitting list, I decided to try my hand at a felted cat toy with my Araucania remnants. Here's what I came up with.

I'll test it out with little Nico later today to see if it was a success.

Blog Error
Friend Liza wrote to inform me that the Texas man who I wrote about in my last blog entry was given a life sentence in prison...not a death sentence.

I'm much less disturbed by this, but I was still glad to read all your responses to this.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Now It's Deadly?

All during the eighties in this country, HIV/AIDS wasn't even mentioned by the heartless bastard in the White House at the time (Reagan). Now they're putting someone to death for possibly infecting people with it.

Death Penalty For Soliciting A Minor
I know some of you (especially the folks that have children) might think that soliciting a fifteen year old for sex is worthy of the death penalty.

A man in Texas, who is infected with HIV, was brought to trial for soliciting sex with a 15 year old boy. As part of the case, the prosecution showed hours of videotape, that the accused had filmed, of unprotected sex with other guys. He had also been previously convicted of two other felonies, and the jury used the three-strikes rule to give him the death penalty.

Don't get me wrong, I think having unprotected sex when you're HIV positive is awful. I think soliciting a fifteen year old for sex is awful. And both of them are worthy of legal punishments.

But it seems the penalty imposed is clearly one of discrimination because the man was gay.

If the man had been convicted of attempted murder for knowingly exposing others to HIV, I might have understood the penalty. I honestly can't understand how the videotapes were relevant to the case of soliciting a minor for sex. If he had actually had sex with the minor, it would have been worse, but not necessarily worth the death penalty. If it had been a woman who had solicited the boy, she might have been given the "Mrs. Robinson Award" for her efforts, instead of jail or the death penalty.

I can only think the jury and the court where the man was tried, had a visceral reaction to the man for being gay, being a "predator" and having HIV. I'm sure they were also quite pissed that he was potentially infecting sex partners without revealing his HIV status.

I know all these issues are distasteful, but I want to be clear that I'm not defending what the man did. I do think he should be punished. But I also think he should have a trial that tries him for his crimes, as opposed to his morals.

If we put people to death for their morals, the pharmaceutical firms would have a lot of employees and CEO's on death row for much of the same things this man was sentenced for.

Current Knitting
I was able to get some more work done on the colorblock cardigan sleeve.

You can see I have less than two rows of blocks left, and the knitting part of this sweater will be complete (except for the button band and collar).

New Vogue Knitting
The Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting is out on stands.

I'm assuming this is their regular reminder issue to have women do breast cance self examinations. I'm surprised it didn't have a pink colored theme.

Well, even if inadvertant, please take this as your reminder to do a breast-cancer self-examination. You know it's important.

Overall, this issue is not too bad. It seems that this is a continuation of the VK trend of getting back to a fashion knitting magazine, and trying things that may not be trendy or liked by all, but have a certain fashion flair.

I loved the section on lace ("Eyelet Candy"), and many of the garments in that section.

There is an absolutely garish design for a baby/child by Annie Modesitt. It's an Elvis-like pantsuit in off-white, with so much embroidered "embellishment", that a matador would feel silly wearing it. Overall, however, I'd consider it one of the only Spring/Summer issues that I've purchased in a while that I'm glad to have bought.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding morels (not morals), Angie asks, "I am wondering if you dry these and if so it increases the flovour?"

Many experts will tell you that a dried morel is more flavorful (flavourful?) than a fresh one. I don't agree. I think they both have about the same density of taste. Typically, Thaddeus will dry morels if he has enough to store, otherwise, we'll just eat them fresh.

Marilyn writes, "If you guys were up in Andover, I'll bitch-slap ya for not stopping by to say hello. I'm not all that far from your morel-hunting fields, ya know. Sure, morel hunting was just an excuse to go to Hotdog Johnny's, wasn't it?"

Actually, we were up in your neck of the woods, but I wouldn't be caught dead dropping in on someone in our mushroom-foraging clothes. As for Hot Dog Johnny's, we stopped there both last weekend and this weekend. Given the number of mushrooms we found, it was, in fact, just an excuse.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Fungi Weekend

For those in the Northeast of this country that don't know, this is morel season.

Both last weekend and this weekend, Thaddeus and I went out in search of our elusive favorite mushroom, the morel.

After hours of trudging through the woods Northeast of here, we were able to find a combined total of exactly two morels.

Extremely disappointing. I'm hoping Thaddeus' searches this week will yield a better crop.

Current Knitting
I did some additional work this weekend on the bulky Lavold-like pullover.

This is almost up to the point of reducing for the sleeve opening, so I'm close to finishing the front of this sweater. I won't be working on it this week, since it's easier to transport the colorblock cardigan sleeve I've not been working on.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Juris Unnecessarius

I spent the majority of my day yesterday knitting on the second colorblock sleeve and chatting with some very nice people.

Tort Thoughts
They released the entire group of potential jurors at 2:30 yesterday afternoon, without ever having called anyone in my group of about 200 people. I found the day rather relaxing and enjoyable.

As for tort reform and the litigious nature of our society, I have a few thoughts.

Having worked for a large chiropractic office and also for an insurance company, I have had quite a bit of exposure to some of the worst aspects of the legal system.

From it all, I believe that greed will always find a way to abuse any system that is put in place. That same greed is one of the reasons that communism would never work in a society.

I think of it this way. I pay car insurance. The insurance company pools my premiums in with all the other insured car owners, and bases the cost of my insurance on their historical claims experience (sounds a bit like When the insurance company pays a claim on my behalf, it affects the claims experience, and will be reflected in the determination of cost for insurance for everyone in the group.

If I see a lot of folks filing claims for "pain and suffering" when they really had none, I will start to worry that I'm not getting my "fair share" of the pool of claims money. Many lawyers are all too willing to file a lawsuit on my behalf, and many doctors are all too willing to treat me for alleged injuries. And now the insurance company finds itself in the position of trying to adjudicate claims in a way to reduce payouts and lawsuits, identify fraud, and keep their profits up.

Greed of claimants, greed of lawyers, greed of doctors and greed of insurance companies.

I don't care what kind of laws are put into place to prevent this greed cycle, but with all the greed in the world, one or more of these groups is going to find a way to circumvent it.

Current Knitting
As mentioned, I got some work done on the second sleeve of the colorblock cardigan at jury duty yesterday.

I still have some work to do on it, but I'm glad for the progress.

I also started the front of the bulky Lavold-like pullover.

I'm also happy with the progress on this garment.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Kathy writes, " looks like you're doing the Lavold on straight (gayly forward?) needles--perhaps Brittany's? Doesn't that get heavy, especially using bulky yarn?"

I'm working the bulky Lavold-like pullover on these amazing hand-crafted rosewood needles that my friend bought for me last year (US10's). When I was finishing the back of the garment, the ends of the needles started to get a little heavy as I got to the top third of the garment. Not overly burdensome, and definitely offset by the lovely feel of the needles.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Civil Responsibility

While I consider civil responisibility to be a lot more, tomorrow I report for Jury Duty at my local county courthouse.

I know a lot of folks think that I have a big head, and in many ways they're right. However, I have always found it very important to participate in our government and judicial system as much as possible. I take exception to folks that think they are too busy or too important to serve on a jury.

I have some strong reservations about our judicial system, but I also don't have any better alternatives, so I participate enthusiastically when called.

Current Knitting
Earlier this week I finished the back of the Bulky Lavold-inspired pullover.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but the garment is going to look very nice. It's soft and much more colorful than my camera will capture. I think it has a nice drape for a bulky knit as well.

Since I didn't bring my hem stitch pattern with me, I had to resume work on the colorblock cardigan. I didn't make enough progress to provide a picture.

Current Reading
I don't know if this book is representative of all Pulitzer Prize winning books, but if it is, I want to read more.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is one of the best recommendations anyone has made in a long time for my reading tastes. Eugenides writes in an unusual style, about an unusual topic, and I followed him through the entire story, ending up incredibly satisfied as a reader.

I give this book my highest recommendation, so if you've read it and didn't like it, you probably wouldn't like many of my reading choices.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Barb B. writes, "I thought you were knitting a scarf? when did it turn into a sweater?"

I was crocheting a scarf and knitting the bottom of a sweater. Even though the Lavold stitch pattern was long and narrow, it was always meant to be a sweater. I guess that's what I get for working on multiple projects.

bjrest asks, "Will you be attending the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival?"

No, not this year. Despite my distaste for last year's crowds, I will probably go back to Rhinebeck this year, and I try to limit myself to one or the other each year.