Monday, May 29, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.--Oscar Wilde

I am afraid this is all too true.

Here is an excerpt from an editorial by Adam Cohen in yesterday's New York Times. Read it and be very concerned.

The World Wide Web is the most democratic mass medium there has ever been. Freedom of the press, as the saying goes, belongs only to those who own one. Radio and television are controlled by those rich enough to buy a broadcast license. But anyone with an Internet-connected computer can reach out to a potential audience of billions.

This democratic Web did not just happen. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989, envisioned a platform on which everyone in the world could communicate on an equal basis. But his vision is being threatened by telecommunications and cable companies, and other Internet service providers, that want to impose a new system of fees that could create a hierarchy of Web sites. Major corporate sites would be able to pay the new fees, while little-guy sites could be shut out.

I don't know about you but this is a bit more important to me than knitting, spinning or weaving.

"Little-guy sites"? Cohen is talking about all the blogs you read, including this one. All the fiber suppliers you deal with. More important than that, he's talking about bloggers who write from places like Iran, China and other countries whose repressive regimes stifle free speech. These are the blog that count, not knitting blogs. And what about people who make a living with their small businesses on the internet?

While we watch our freedoms in this country get whittled away by the political counterpart of the Bad News Bears, here's just another sign of the times. However, this affects everyone in all countries.

This issue has huge ramifications. And they need to be addressed. One way you can voice your concern to your elected officials is by signing the petition started at Save The I signed it. And I urge you to do the same.

Springtime in Mine Hill

This is the place where I will spend a good portion of my summer knitting and spinning, weather permitting. And yes, that is the Melanie shawl, looking small but actually large enough to become a skirt, if that's any benchmark.

It will be finished by June 24th, even if I'm blocking it on my hotel bed in Williamsburg on June 23rd. Which is highly probably but also doable.

I can sleep on the floor.

The next picture you will see of the Melanie will be on Corinne's back at the wedding.

Junk Mail and Gadgetry
You know, I get a ton of crap in the mail every fucking day. I'm a catalog junkie and I desperately need a 12-step program.

But then, if I wean myself from my catalogs, what would I read in the bathroom?

I did get the latest Patternworks catalog. And I immediately turned to the gadget page, eschewing all the yarn because none of it interested me. (Ah, I long for the days when Patternworks was owned by Linda Skolnik and not a craft conglomerate or whatever Keepsake Quilting is.)

I also admit that I am a gadget and tool junkie, to some degree. That does not include buying a Weavette, however. I've found that there are a few gidgy-gadgets for knitting that really do help. And a few that are pretty fucking useless.

Tools and gadgets above and beyond necessities that I own and use, most of which can be found in the Patternworks catalog:

  • A lot of stuff that Nancy's KnitKnacks makes. (Best are the digital counter and the Knee-Sel. I like her niddy-noddy very much, too. And the Katie-a-Go-Go.)
  • The circular needle counter. Can't live without this one. I own three of them.
  • Red rubber counters
  • Locking counters (Clover makes these)
  • A pink Chibi. These days, they seem to be aqua.

Tools and gadgets that have the WTF factor:

  • Sheep Tape Measure. Do we really need yet another thing with a stupid sheep on it? Dolores can bite me.
  • Pom Tree. Pompoms. Never.
  • Rubber Needle Vase. Why?
  • Point protectors of any kind. Because they always fall off anyway.
  • Sterling silver ID bracelets that say "Stick to Your Knitting," "Cast On!" and "My Stash is Bigger than Yours." In any case, they hardly belong in the Tools section of the catalog. I would suggest that rather than buy something idiotic like this, you invest your jewelry money into pieces from Sundance.

See, Ted? I do buy nice jewelry. Like this:

And this:

OK, now it's time to get back to work. Yes, I'm working on Memorial Day. At home but working on a big project that's due on Thursday.

Work is only rare and handy insofar as it provides me with benefits. And a living.

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