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Diary
By blixco (Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:02:31 AM EST) (all tags)
Take your medicine.


This morning was the first cool morning, a hint at what the temperatures will be like in late December should this year be anything like last year. My walk now takes 30 minutes for 2 miles, which is still pathetically slow but faster than last week (47 minutes average).

My normal causative introspection leans toward the immediate these days. There's too much politics, as there should be, and my spirit is sick of the fight. Laurea keeps a clear head, watches the RNC convention and laughs at the lies and hypocritical nonsense, does not mind their "attack and provide no answers, only themes" marketing that Rove worked so hard on for so many years.  This is the television speaking. We are idiots.

Because it is the television near the bed, I am forced to comply or leave. Being tired and wanting to finish the book I've been reading, I use my iPod to filter the republicans. This sort of helps, though the music I like lacks the density to block all of it out. This is what we're about now, so many of us can't stand to hear the noise. Either we violently disagree (to the point of physical aversion) or we're just plain ear tired of the constant marketing of hope, derision, hatred, unity, common man versus elitist fuck. My best efforts at trying to understand politics are constantly challenged by the people around me, who seem willing to believe whatever is sold to them without thinking any of it through. Some of these people are religious, so magic is not far from them. Some, though, are scientists who have a starry-eyed care for anything not Bush, anything not Republican, anything not tied to the last eight years of decay.  All of them, on both sides, are so blindly myopic and un-aware of their own selfish cynicism that I can't even talk to them.

So my walk this morning, clear headed and somewhat bleary eyed, was led by this. Trying to avoid politics right now in Texas is like trying to avoid politics in Texas any day of any year. It is a losing proposition for someone who doesn't have faith in any sort of system that produces people like, well, some of my neighbors and co-workers. People who are in love with impossible ideals and so enamored of their justifications that they salivate at the chance to explain their position.  Bumper stickers and T-shirts, slogans become the very height of discourse.

I'm not a fan of any blind assertion. I do believe in absolutes. I can't use faith as guidance on any life or death decision. I'm not the person in control of anything besides myself, and my vote, which may or may not count. But I can influence what is directly in my path, and I can make differences with my time and money in ways that are not ephemeral or mythic.

I walk through the first cool morning after a month of overheating disasters, a half year of whining din from the media and the candidates, a whole eight years of disasterous policy and procedure laid out by cross-eyed believers, and I try to live outside my skin.  Somewhere, there's a calm, cool center of something. Somewhere, there's a lot more trouble than this.

Step after step, walking through my day, trying to be what I think I am. The defenses required to resist the marketing and the noise and the crush of useless knowledge...

Maybe I need a hobby.
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I recommend knitting by MissTrish (4.00 / 3) #1 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:07:00 AM EST
i just started and it gets hard. it's very relaxing, but at the same time requires a certain amount of concentration if you're following a pattern.

everyone should know how to make their own socks


ypu're a chair
That's an idea. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:24:12 AM EST
Laurea has been crocheting a handbag from strips of plastic shopping bags.

Hrmmmmm.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I was looking at that project on some website by MissTrish (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:47:37 AM EST
and it seemed pretty awesome. but my previous surplus of grocery bags has been significantly reduced since I got kitten with poo that has to go away daily and a backpack that could fit three babies in it (maybe more if they were small).

Seriously though, there are a lot of learn to knit websites with video that have helped me out loads. The only thing to keep an eye out for are hand cramps.


ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
I am seriously by blixco (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:49:17 AM EST
serious, as well: I want to make a sweater.

What good am I as a backwoods loner type if I can't knit my own clothes?

It's a great idea.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
YAY! by MissTrish (4.00 / 1) #21 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:55:36 AM EST
two pieces of beginner advice:
1) start with a scarf. you can use it to practice different types of knitting, basic patterns and learn all the crap like increases without much worry. and plus you'll have something only a mother could love, providing you with the perfect christmas present.

2)make sure that you get needles appropriate to the wool you are working with. otherwise it gets all stretchy and loose. unless that's the look you're going for.


ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
My knitting advice by zarathus (4.00 / 1) #29 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:16:47 PM EST
I got the knitting bug earlier this year.  The best way to go is to pay for classes at Hill Country Weavers on South Congress (kinda across from Guerros.)  I've  been taking classes for months and now I go more for the social aspect than for help or for learning new techniques.


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Blogger - n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do.
[ Parent ]
Hrm. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:54:27 PM EST
I'll check in to that. If my time were my own, I'd commit, but for now....I'll check into it.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Hm by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:08:43 PM EST
I think I am too tense to knit. My stitches end up pulled so tight I can't get the needle through.
Patchwork otoh, is the business, esp. trying to plan out a 'random' design.


[ Parent ]
Hmmm... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:14:23 AM EST
Maybe I need a hobby.
You know, the Assault on Black Reach starter set comes out tomorrow at midnight. The first hit is freecheap...

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

Maybe a less by blixco (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:24:37 AM EST
expensive hobby, seeing as how my shooting hobby has become to expensive to maintain.

---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I see your point... by atreides (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:32:30 AM EST
Needlepoint. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:42:03 AM EST
It's cheap, and pretty relaxing to do in a quiet room. New patterns cost very little, and take weeks to finish if you only do an hour a night or so.

It's been years since I've done any. I should really get back to that some day. But I have too many hobbies to keep up with all of them.



'gecko does needlepoint. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:35:05 AM EST
Although I'm not sure how relaxing she finds it.
It's probably helpful for ignoring people in the room, I suppose.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
If you aren't finding your hobby relaxing. . . by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:49:21 AM EST
it's time to switch hobbies.

[ Parent ]
Well then by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #28 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:05:50 PM EST
Good thing singing has become a second career for me instead of a hobby, because it stopped being relaxing a long time ago.



[ Parent ]
i used to do cross stitch by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #22 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:10:01 AM EST
now i have the never-ending xmas tree skirt (beadwork).  maybe when the boy gets old enough, i can start that up again.  it was a shame my hands were in so much pain while i was on bedrest last year - i would have finished it up in no time (what, with having weeks of nothing to do except sit there).


[ Parent ]
Yeah. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #26 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:54:15 AM EST
There is some hand dexterity involved. I think that was the excuse I used for starting on it back when I still thought I needed an excuse for things. I think I was about seventeen when I took it up.

[ Parent ]
the left hand... by clock (4.00 / 3) #7 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:03:04 AM EST
...presses and releases as the index finger of the right hand pushes through the string.  the index finger rests on the string behind it for a millisecond and the middle finger strikes the string.  the string vibrates for a fraction of a second and is dampened.

tone.  technique.  sound and silence.  same as it was in the 1400s.



I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

I have been by blixco (4.00 / 2) #12 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:41:58 AM EST
playing a lot  more lately, and less maudlin than normal.  Except for a few new-to-me covers.

Which reminds me, 256 is onboard.

---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
the more i play... by clock (4.00 / 2) #25 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:35:47 AM EST
...the better my general mood.  i'm in re-recording hell right now, but i still feel much more relaxed.

drop me an email with some of the things you were thinking about.  let the rockin' begin!



I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
i've got two new songs already by 256 (4.00 / 1) #35 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:24:39 AM EST
but they need a dram of spit and a thimbleful of polish before they're ready for anyone to see them.

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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Excellent! by blixco (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:32:44 AM EST


---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Boatbuilding by marvin (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:09:58 AM EST
If you enjoy playing with wood, I'd recommend boatbuilding as a hobby. There is quite a feeling of accomplishment paddling something you built yourself.

A skin on frame kayak is fairly quick to build. Minimal tool investment required (can be done for <$300 in tools, and another $300 in materials). Expect to spend 60 hours or so on the construction.

The Morris book is faster, and described as the quick and dirty way to build. Sort of a Popular Mechanics style guide. I've heard the Cunningham book described as the "Fine Woodworking" method - more fiddly, detailed, higher level of effort and workmanship required.

I built my first kayak using Morris. The second is being built using a mix of Morris and Cunningham. It has been languishing in my workshop at the 30% completion stage, largely due to time wasted running in a local election last year.

They are beautiful boats. The unskinned frame can look like a work of art.

I'd recommend both books. If I had to build a kayak for the first time from scratch, and could only pick one book, I'd pick Morris. While I built a short retrieval boat as my first boat because it used less materials, it is no fun going more than a few hundred metres with it. I would recommend building a Greenland style boat.

That's an extremely by blixco (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:40:45 AM EST
enticing idea. We have some great lakes (not Great Lakes, just some fine bodies of water) around here.

Hrm. Excellent.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Can you recommend by ni (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:50:45 AM EST
a frigate building book, or perhaps a cigarette boat construction manual?


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
I can recommend by blixco (4.00 / 2) #18 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:48:01 AM EST
a cigarette boat ownership video series.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Cool skin and frame kayak by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #24 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:33:22 AM EST
i'll never do it, but I can dream.



[ Parent ]
We have similar outlooks on the current by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:17:16 AM EST

but opposite conclusions about the future, yet I find Team A and Team B to both be nauseatingly simplistic in their approach to "discourse", as well. I think part of the problem is that more people are engaged in "politics" lately, for whatever reason, and the end result is that, because people are staggeringly, predominantly stupid, the level of discourse lowers and lowers until no one speaks in anything other than vapid 3-5 word phrases, no one bothers listening to what the other team just said, preferring instead to rephrase it to fit their silly belief system, and none of these clowns understand the basic tenets of persuasion. Depending on your locale, the dominant team may differ, but the underlying structure and value remain the same.

I've been doing an awesome job of tuning this election out, but that's mainly because I've been doing an awesome job of tuning out almost every human being around me. Still, I find myself offended when the subject does come up, as people automatically presume that I'm on "their" team, and if I'm not, then I'm obviously on the "other team". I'm on nobody's team; I want the streets to flow with blood. I believe I will make my political "choices" in the future based on this tenet: if my vote will result in more blood, more disorder, and more collapse, then I feel confident it is the correct thing to do, not only for myself, and my own selfish goals, but for humanity, as a whole.


-
You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Exactly! by blixco (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:39:38 AM EST
Goddamn.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Television in the Bedroom? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #15 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:37:16 AM EST
I am told, and my experience bears it out, that it's a Bad Idea.

Computers too. YMMV.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Yep. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:45:38 AM EST
But I have one of those wives who, for whatever reason, has a ten-million-mile-n-hour wind blowing through her head of the days ideas and actions,  and she cannot sleep without random noise generation.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
i was like that once by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:12:38 AM EST
i used a walkman/discman with ear buds to make sure nobody else was disturbed.


[ Parent ]
IAWTP by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #34 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:25:59 AM EST
Two girlfriends and a wife have not.  :(


[ Parent ]
You know by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #27 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 01:52:30 PM EST
Adult Swim starts at 10:00 central every night, and the most controversial it gets is stupid Family Guy jokes. In fact there's something quite relaxing about seeing the same episode for the 5th time, you basically just tune it out. You'll be asleep before Robot Chicken starts.


I love Robot Chicken. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #30 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:53:35 PM EST
I have a DVR. It makes time irrelevant.

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Right by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #32 Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:05:51 PM EST
Just saying, AS is good white noise. Also they've got old Venture Brothers rolling now at 11:30.


[ Parent ]
TV in the bedroom . . . by slozo (4.00 / 2) #37 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:42:20 AM EST
. . . is terrible Feng Shui, especially so if it faces the bed (which it inevitably does, of course).

The reasoning was explained to me by a western practitioner - for the unconcious mind, the TV represents a third person. Even when it is off, it is merely the representation of a person gazing at you soundlessly. This gives the relationship the "third person in the bedroom" effect, and, according to feng shui experts (I spoke with others who corraborated this explanation), makes it extremely likely that one person will feel jealous, and potentially roam. Feng shui practitioners who still insist on having a TV, put a cover on it when it's not on, or have it facing away from the bed.

Just pause for thought.

Or by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #38 Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:27:35 AM EST
The sound and light given off make it difficult to sleep.


[ Parent ]
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