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December 20th, 2013 at 06:38 am » Comments (3)

phil

Some might remember this blog started because my views were deemed too controversial to be shared in “groups”

Sometimes it is difficult to keep to the Libertarian (not to be confused with Liberal ) principle that demands if you want a right for yourself, you may not deny that same right to another.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Phil Robertson is not the issue. Nor, technically is it a 1st Amendment issue unless you ascribe to the theory that the media is controlled by the government = It is really a business decision for both network and star.

For me, supporting Phil Robertson is NOT about the personal opinions he expressed, but rather my willingness to grant ALL the parties to the converstaion (Mr Robertson, NBC & GLAAD ) the right to express their views. And MY right to choose which of those is important to me and how I will choose to act.

To those carrying on about how could PR people “let” Phil Robertson take the Interview. It also means granting his detractors the right to hold and express their view

Phil Robertson is smart and likely knew that he was giving NBC a chance to get its way – it is an issue about supporting those who would suppress the right to hold and express a different view.

NBC may or may not be making a smart business decision, only time will tell. Once the new season starts and we can see if NBC takes advantage of the situation to “edit” out the content they have long wished to suppress, Well, I doubt it will kill me to cease to watch DD and Longmire the only two shows they offer of any interest to me. Certainly it will be easy to ignore all the others carefully designed to appeal the least desirable aspects of humanity.

What remains is whether all those upset will decide to do more than make short lived knee jerk reactions.

Will the majority of DD Viewers give up ALL the shows on that Network?

Are those professing support really willing to “boycott” the advertisers? Or just threaten to do so.

What if Wal-Mart or Cabella’s decides to drop the product line, will you stop shopping there? Seems to me much more effective to starve A&E of the ratings that drive the fees they can charge “sponsors”

It is interesting to see almost no comment from the family, and all things considered hard to believe they would consider staying with A&E without Phil and the freedom to express their professed family values.

It will be interesting to observe how many will allow themselves to be distracted from the real issues facing the country by a manufactured controversy and how many will take sustained action to support their beliefs.

No matter what any of us decide and what action we take – there are to many more important issues effecting our lives, our freedoms, and our country that need our attention.







Support what you believe in –

October 6th, 2013 at 06:29 am » Comments (3)

A few days ago, a craft group that had been politics free changed when the group owner wrote a message well because he could – his group his decision about the rules. And I am really okay with that – or I was until the discussion showed many disagreed with his point of view and so, again, a decision that is his to make, decided that all those writing in response were now wasting their time, it would be moderated and not put thru to tho group.

Since this started I have downloaded my email with dread – but I am not the list owner and this was his decision.

Anyone who follows me pretty much anywhere on the internet is likely to know I have pretty strong feelings. And, as someone with very very painful FIRST hand experience on the changes occurring, I can’t decide if I want to air my grievances or ask this be shut down before there is irreparable harm.

I believe my experience as a guardian, parent and grandparent means first hand experience with the horrendous feeling that nothing is more heartbreaking than to be helpless in helping our children.

It is amazing to me that in today’s world when we know every intimate detail of celebrity and political psuedo-celebs lives that people are so blinded by skin and greed.

More than anything, the best thing we can do for our children is to be patriots and to really look at our situation – The measures being taken at the direction of the chief executive are so obviously punitive and directed at those who don’t vote Democrat – it boggles the mind trying to see why.

Why is there money to close down open areas, streets and parking facilities that are not manned? But not to fund the NIH.
Well, because the executive branch can order a law enforcement officer under federal command to do so. And who is hurt.

NIH, the Military, and pretty much everything except a program that is already devastating what is still, but almost not, the best health care system in the world.

And yet, we continue to see a “Let them eat cake” and if they don’t like, then they will eat $#!+ instead.

I am bored with of the vicious and deliberate lies of an ethically, morally and legally corrupt executive branch taking advantage of its position to stamp its feet and get its way.

I am bored with people too engrossed in their own current situation to take the time to look at the fact. If you must make it by party line, The House is sending bills, which the Senate is not even being allowed to discuss – so obviously Mr Reid is not really all concerned with those 1,000 people at Nellis any more than he is those in need of services at NIH.

I am bored with people branding others racists for no reason other than disagreeing with a POLICY that will help a few today and harm the many for generations to come.

I am bored with those who think it is okay to expect others to work and they should just, because they breath, be allowed to take the fruits of the workers lobar.

I am bored with those unable to have an intelligent discourse, with a goal to solving problem, that their only response is to disagree with them is to be racist or other – Anyone who actually knows me will tell you I am one of those people who has always been inspired by Dr King and others of that generation to judge, as does the Lord my God, by action and deeds.
It is NOT the Republican in either house of congress blocking funding,

I am bored with people too blind by self interest to take an honest look at what is being offered and how it is will harm our country, ourselves and the generations to come all to satisfy the ego of an executive cabal, in league with others only interested in their personal gain beginning with Mr Reid.

I am bored with parents so lazy and self indulgent they do not teach their children the value of human life and so we have senseless violence and if you think that person should be punished for their actions you are branded racist.

I am bored with love of country being cause to be branded terrorist.

I am bored with those who were not taught that actions speak louder than words.

I am bored with those who claim to be Pro-Choice but only so long at it means you blindly choose their choice of genocide – exactly as Ms Sangor hoped.

I am bored with those who would negate the Bill of Rights, the very document that allows them to spew their hate against those who would protect ALL Life, Liberty and condemn us all to the Pursuit of Mediocrity.

I am bored with those who are too selfish to understand cause and effect – need an example, look at the effect of taking away tax deductions from corporation who used to be extremely supportive of the arts and arts programs – yes they got a tax advantage but we got private funding for musuems, libraries, research having nothing to do with their company, and more – now lost.

If you are still reading, maybe instead of whining in public forums where your opinion is pointless, you should be doing something constructive.

This is republic and your elected officials have a duty to God, Country and their constutients.

There is a MUCH bigger picture to be considered. The only thing ACA is likely to solve is the amount of people currently coming of the USA for health care they cannot get in a timely way in their own country.

Decide which is most important to you.

If health care is a priority, find out how that bill will really effect you. Me – nearly my entire social security – money that I earned from many many years of paying my “premiums” aka/Social Security Deductions, and as a self employed person I also paid TWICE that of any employee because I also paid the Employer paid portions. I know you will love how the price of medications you need to continue to live are now going to be at least trippled and in my case, generics are now going to cost 19 times as much. So maybe like Don, I will be dead in the not too distant future as a direct result of the changes occurring under the AFC.

Get the facts on how AFC will really effect you, THINK and decide if it really is going to help or harm. After all what good will it do us to reopen a study at NIH if those with the disease are deemed to expensive and in the immortal words of Ms Sibilas, some live, some die. NO respect for Life.

Get on the phone and call your congress critters and tell them you elected them to do what is best for the country.

If that means those who elected a childish, disrespectful, self-indulgent individual have to learn the lessons so many parents never taught their children about working for what they have, may suffer a bit, well it is their choice to not only be the problem but refuse to even consider a less selfish solution.

My mother once said that only boring people are bored. She went on to say, if you are bored, go find something interesting to do.

What could be more interesting than to find every possible way to save the country that allows me to write this note, and to ensure that my children, grandchildren and every other citizens of these United States can enjoy their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness without extreme interference of the type their forebears fought to protect us against.

Fully understanding it may well be the death of me, now I have had my say, I really hope each of us will decide to put aside their own immediate self-interest and choose for the long term best interest of us all.

Thank you for listening.

Wheat







Crochet Skill Levels

July 10th, 2013 at 12:22 pm » Comments (5)

This day started with a lively telephone conversation with a lovely lady wanting me to accept a pattern return. Her request was based because it required her to have skills she did not. Turns out she had a good case for why I should accept the return.

The Craft Yarn Council’s Yarn Standards for Crochet Skill levels is located at:
http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/skill.html

Skill levels have always seemed to be the red-haired step child and for Crochet, One almost needs to be a psychic to figure out what they mean.

Vague descriptions like “using basic stitches” without saying what basic stitches might be is useless.

Thankfully most publishers now make a point of listing the “Stitches Used” and maybe even some instructions – certainly for “special” or “pattern” stitches” – I am quite willing to pretty much go along with the CYC when it comes to using its Crochet Chart Symbols to define Basic Stitches (in you want to know more about where we part company, it is covered in the post for tomorrow BasicStitches-Crochet .

It is my controversial opinion, that IF the Pattern Author gives a SKILL level, and has made it clear what they mean, then it is not reasonable to expect them to change/rewrite a pattern to a lower skill level.

And, if they have failed to make clear what the crocheter must be able to do, then they need to fix their publication format. This is especially true if they self-publish downloadable PDFs.

I also think that beginner patterns should include more instruction (basic stitch illustrations) and thus might need to cost more for printed versions. Again, with Downloads, the printing costs are not a factor for the Pattern Author/Publisher. The Crocheter can choose which if any pages need to be printed out.

One of the reasons the onus is on the Pattern Author is because, in my cluttered mind, Skill level should be defining what you need to be able to do to complete a project that includes various techniques. This does not seem to be the case in the CYC Skill Level definions. And so far, the CYC does not. For example

    BEGINNER: CYC says: Projects for first time crocheters using basic stitches – minimal shaping.
    Instead I would submit that the BEGINNER Crocheter needs to know how to:

  • the SYMBOL and ABBREVIATION for each of the Basic Stitches as well as how to form/make these stitches.
  • Basic Stitches about include: ch, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, tc,
  • Basic Terminology includes: inc, dec, turn, join, rep and the symbols (if any) associated with them
  • Nominal finishing such as at least one method for adding yarn and weaving in ends should be a part of the New/Beginner Crochet Skill level
  • Along with Basic Pattern instructional abbreviations such as parenthesis, star/asterisks, daggers, and the symbols (if any associated with them)
    EASY CYC says: Projects using yarn with basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping and finishing.

  • I have long suspected the use of EASY was more about marketing than a level of competency.
    I think this would/could be better called “Advanced Beginner” and I find I have used “Enthusiastic or Adventurous Beginner” qute often, because it is someone who has become competent in the Beginner/Basics and want to add to those skills – still relatively simple, but building on the basics.
  • Using a repetitive stitch pattern is certainly one of the most important second step basic skills. Most, could easily accomplish this if they take the time to do an “in pattern” swatch using the “special stitches” or “pattern repeats” contained within the pattern. This swatch allows them to begin the muscle memory building and working out issues such as tension within the motif or repeat.
  • The SYMBOL and ABBREVIATION for each of the Basic Stitches, plus, the ability to read and insert a repetitive stitch pattern into a project (what the +# means in a stitch guide), Color changes (building on the adding yarn), simple shaping – someone needs to define shaping – what is minimal (I would say inc/dec) and what is simple – what additional skill/knowledge is needed. and finishing.
  • Finishing needs to be defined, I would say basic finishing need to include more than just weaving in ends. It might/should include adding edging – picking up stitches around the pieces that will be combined to finish the project. Easy finishing also should include some methods for putting the pieces.
    INTERMEDIATE CYC: Projects using a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns or color patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing.

  • Intermediate seems to imply that one is able to combine techniques in order to create different textures and appearance within a single project.
  • Mid-Level Techniques: particularly “in the round” and at least two of its variations – spiraling and stepping up. Anyone care to suggest some others that would fit here.
  • Mid-Level shaping – The only thing that comes to mind is perhaps some ‘entry’ level free forming or the use of a sewing pattern for overall shape but fitting various stitches or stitch motifs into the shape could certain take some intricate shaping.
  • Mid-Level Finishing – one word pops up immediately ZIPPERS & Button Plackets. Additionally perhaps including wet finishing, fulling, felting and other techniques that effect the texture and hand of the completed fabric.
    EXPERIENCED CYC: Projects with intricate stitch patterns, techniques and dimension, such as non-repeating patterns, multi-color techniques, fine threads, small hooks, detailed shaping and refined
    finishing.

  • Frankly, I find placing fine threads and small hooks to be unacceptable as only something that can/should be done by an “experienced” crocheter. Historically, fine thread crochet to make laces was really where it all started. Yes, it takes a true love of the craft to work small, but skill levels are still varied.
  • Moving on, once one has become competent and comfortable with all the skills need through the Intermediate level you are an experienced crochet and with care and thought should not be afraid to tackle any well written pattern.

Bottom line here, I really welcome and want to hear your ideas about Skill levels as I work toward including them in my Glossary aka/What Wheat MEANT when she said…..

Enjoy The Making

Wheat

CAVEAT: I may not rule the universe, but I reserve the right to disagree, even when “overall” something is valuable. In some cases, my reasons for disagreeing with the Craft Yarn Council is its underwriters are, t quite rightfully, not historically as concerned with many of the qualities (kinds) of yarns most often offered by an independent retailer like me.

That they even attempted to create voluntary standards is certainly to their credit – You might rightfully as this point mention “Pots and Kettles” and oh yes, I do know an Expert is just a drip under pressure… so – always feel free to let me know – publically or privately where I need to fix something and if/why you disagree.







Teaching Tough Love

August 24th, 2009 at 00:12 am » Comments (1)

No “Day” Job? Oooooh, time to make money with my art/craft (stash/knowledge/fill in the blank).

Seems I have read or been reading this in just about every group, hobby or professional for months and certainly these last few weeks in several of the more active groups.

We all know how much trouble I can get into when I try to respond to “Universal You” although it is pretty much a given someone will take it personally and get into their own snit and a tizzy.

Time after Time, those who have had some or great success talk about the work involved and then are blissfully ignore – their extremely hard earned experiences banished into archives instead of worked on Needlepoint Pillows you have to look at every day.

Want to “teach” or “author”

So here is what may not have been said FIRMLY enough

IF one takes a realistic look at those who are supporting themselves with ONLY their art – well unless you are very lucky or already well established in the teaching/publication circuits – let’s just say that don’t you think a WHOLE lot of other people are thinking like you?

A “rant” about discount coupons that radically reduce the earning of a teacher, while maintaining the benefit to the sponsoring shop is just such a perfect example of a teaching what not to do and frankly for any one purporting to be in the BUSINESS of (fill in your area of expertise) to even be in this position is well beyond my ken.

The situation described? Well the teacher agreed to accept a PERCENTAGE per student and then the Shop, in order to fill seats gave out 50% off coupons. The shop continues to get not only the same, but the greater advantage of the sales generated by the excitement of the class (and efforts of the teacher), the teacher hardly got enough to cover their expenses much less make a living.

How to avoid this?

At the very least a better written agreement SHOULD have safeguards regarding Teacher compensation.

There should be clauses in the WRITTEN Teaching Agreement for a MINIMUM for UP TO X number of students and so much per student there after to a MAXIMUM.

That WRITTEN AGREEMENT, should include a clause giving the jurisdiction where disputes will be resolved and of course much more.

Please don’t bombard me with all the trite and untrue concepts of why it is good to give away your services. Unless one is also the seller of the profitable items, those misconceptions just don’t hold up in today’s environment (and I am not at all sure they did as recently as 5-10 years ago)

WRITTEN AGREEMENTS are what protect you from the insidious effects of such discount coupons imposes without your consent by the class promoter (LYS, Event Promoter, etc)

You, as a teacher or author or artist are alimited resource NOT a mass produced item that can be duplicated no matter what the demand.

Be professional and invest in the resources to protect yourself.

A well written contract/teaching agreement is more powerful then an AR-15 to defend yourself from the robbery without a gun of an unreasonable arrangement.

You can decide, as I did a decade ago, to teach basics primarily for the love of the craft and not expect to be compensated for much more than your expenses or peripheral benefits (i.e., demoing a technique and selling the tools or supplies directly)

Or, as the ranter said accept that you “need to find a real job”

HTH

Wheat







Justice For The Average American Taxpayer

July 24th, 2009 at 00:01 am » Comments (0)

Am I the only one this concept bothers?

Does the answer “but we sent every one we could think of $250” just not seem quite right.

Aren’t you glad to know that potentially $100,000,000 of our tax dollars aka/the bailout to the banks, is going to single individual.


Someone please explain the “justice” of the following:
_________________________________
News Alert from The Wall Street Journal
—————————-
Sponsored by NASDAQ OMX
—————————-

A top Citigroup trader is pressing the financial giant to honor a 2009 pay package that could total $100 million, setting the stage for a potential showdown between Citi and the government’s new pay czar.

The trader, Andrew J. Hall, heads Citigroup’s energy-trading unit, Phibro LLC — a secretive operation that occasionally accounts for a disproportionate chunk of Citigroup income.
__________________________________

Given the government track record (can’t even run a cat house in texas without losing money) IF
this is how the Fed manages OUR money, I cannot wait to see what they will do if they get Socialized Medicine (okay I can wait, for years and decades and generations and forever would certainly be preferable) We the people of these United States will be the losers.

Healthcare reform without tort reform is going to be a death sentence and a huge tax on already struggling families and small business.

Let us all pray that Common Sense

And as long as I am being political, let’s also make sure that not only does the Government NOT get between me and my doctor, but let’s see that they also do not get to force THIER Beliefs on mine. Abortion is a choice that should be made by the woman, her doctor and in consultation with an involved potential father. NOT by some bureaucrat.

Call your congressional representatives NOW and support those who have the guts to risk say no to Socialism.

Wheat







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