Thursday, April 30

Total Geek mystery item. Can you guess what this is? SOLVED.

Leave your answer in comments. When someone gets it right I'll post your name and answer here.

FranIam is right, it's a knitting pattern, and Nikki? I'll quote Hillary Clinton here and say it's not a DNA sequence as far as I know.

It's shown here in two parts because of space limitations. That might give it away.

BRIAN wins it! I don't expect anyone to guess which season's scarf it is, but it is the pattern for Dr. Who/Tom Baker's Scarf from Season 12 (not seasons 15, 16, or 18, which are completely different and make sure you indicate which version you are knitting on the knit social site Ravelry).

I'm geeking out over here. And Tom is the only real Dr. Who imho.

How can a video by GoogleLabs make me cry? This one did.

I made it all the way to the aquarium part and then lost it. It's BS that the designers at Google "learned" that autism spectrum people think in pictures. They live that, duh, they designed this software. It was more, "welcome to the tribe."

As I was saying, Sarah Palin will win primaries in 2012...

I don't think it's just Pat Buchanan who is excited about the prospect. If she gets a little erudition training (not TOO much you betcha) her shrinky-dink party in the oven will justify her based on idological purity, ahem.

Kudos to Sherry who gave me the idea for "Rush Limbaugh's ideological purity balls" yesterday. No, I don't want to see a photoshop of that. No I don't.

Wednesday, April 29

Wow. They are Sarah Palin.

I've been thinking a lot about Palin since Senator Specter changed parties yesterday. (Sorry, Senator Lieberman once we get to sixty you're not even allowed to caucus with us anymore.) The core of Specter's message yesterday, not between the lines but on the page, is that the Republican base is batshit crazy. They care far more about ideological purity than about winning elections. Said Specter: "I am unwilling to have my 29-year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate."

That the only Republicans "left behind" are religious right, global warming denying, anti-immigration purists opens the door, wide and windy, for Sarah Palin to win primaries in 2012. We may laugh at the "I am Sarah Palin" video now, but, um, they are.

Sistah-hood, bitchez!

I downloaded this one from the 2008 campaign just in case it falls down the memory hole. Nevermind the comedy gold of Pammy standing up for what's right (wing) in front of a giant bikini butt painting.

I don't know how to tell my readers this:

I am not Sarah Palin.

It's so hard to prove a negative, but maybe this image will work?

Oh gosh, you betcha, that's just liberal elitism.

Tuesday, April 28

Welcome, Eschaton Readers. (and thanks for the link, Thers. My guess is you are So Very Fired. In this economy SVF is just as chic as DFH, trust me.

Is it easier now without Bush?

Hell, yeah.

I point that out because a fellow blogger emailed something I've warned about many times, that sometimes getting up to blog is a bit more challenging these days because we actually have to say something about something, whereas for the past eight years it's been relatively 'easier' to rant about the Bush administration, pluck the latest outrage from the top of the pile, insert snark and outrage and click 'post,' done.

But there's another feeling I get, having read and participated in some online women's forums. There's a siren that goes off in my head when I see someone say "I'm actually happier when my husband is out of town." Lots of writers have written about Democrats suffering from battered wife syndrome, and it makes me think that we on the left have some healing work to do in our own psyches regarding our own participation in political discourse.

Screaming about the abuses while he was in office, knowing full well that only (and yeah, hopefully) an election would change things is not enough. We have to take steps to make sure this never happens again to us or to our country. That means staying really alert to signs of Bush-style abuse from every corner.

I have to say how happy I am that Obama is president. His presidency is changing our country for the better. AND we cannot stand by and allow his sense of power and propriety to erase or conceal what happened under Bush. Mister President? We won't.

Monday, April 27

Salon tonight 9 Eastern

We find this works best in Firefox, but no download or special equipment is needed. It's typing chat.

Click here to join us.

Tacky religion? In FLORIDA? Yer kidding.

Proposed Florida license plate.

Dear Florida Legislature:

Here's the test.

If you can imagine it on Mr. Gibson's car, remember? The car that got pulled over because he was drunk driving and then he yelled antisemitisms at a woman officer?

That means your license plate is not only unconstitutional, it's reeeealy tacky.

I also laugh very hard when Barry Lynn says the original "may" spark a lawsuit.


Structural Damage vs. Clutter

[love and kisses to the beautiful people coming here from Crooks and Liars]

Americans are an endlessly optimistic and hopeful people. That's the good news. The bad news is, we sometimes can't tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Peggy Noonan and her neo-con ilk want us to believe that the torture memos are house clutter. It happened in the past and if we just set a timer for fifteen minutes and clear it out (you can't organize clutter after all you have to get it out of your sight forever) the living area of our national home will be organized and easy to manage.

It's so tempting to go through the stages of grief slowly with these memos, focus only on denial and bargaining and never get to the acceptance that our national house is built on a sinkhole of Republican fascism which, Drifty's right, started long before Bush One pardoned Caspar Weinburger on Christmas Eve, 1992.

We as a nation do not want to face the necessary, costly, yes painful, demolition, and that is why the Cheney's and Bybee's and Woo's and Bush's*** get away with torturing prisoners, raping the Consititution, and creating false wars to consolidate their hold on power, we can't say Orwell enough, forever and ever, amen.

***PS name one baby they've saved from abortion, idiot evangelicals. That Christian-slash-Republican teat you think you've been sucking on is actually Cheney's dick. The end.

Sunday, April 26


I didn't know until this morning that for real, there are people in this country who think 'our morals' are going to hell in a handbasket because Miss California was deprived of her crown over her stand over gay marriage but let's not talk about torture as a moral issue because, you know, talking politics in a mixed group is not polite.


Also too, Brit Hume. I don't need to put a verb in that sentence, now, do I? Though "drives me to drink" almost works.

Friday, April 24

Knitting for Code Pink in the mail today.

Six squares, one dark green and five "code pink" pink (aka watermelon acrylic, yes CP, I'm sending you the leftover yarn too because that's. not. sitting. in. my. fiber. snob. stash.)

Info on this fine project here

As you may recall, this is not the first time I've done something political, pro-peace, and crafty for Mother's Day.

Discovered young talent

It's not everyday I discover a (very) young woman with a talent for writing. Rabbit Write's latest post about sex-positivity knocks one out of the park. It's personal, succinct, and asks just the right questions. Highly recommended.

I'm looking forward to watching this one grow.

Leave comments over there, thanks.

Not a photoshop.

Found this in the pediatrician's waiting room: ah, the tragedy of allowing marketing people to design your magazine cover. It's sad, because the article inside actually has some good information apart from the stupid "you CAN have it all!" boomer ad lingo. Things like, oral sex during chemotherapy treatment is not always wise, you may be giving your healthy partner a dose of chemo through your precious bodily fluids, check with your doctor. On the other hand, if you're feeling up to it, this is a wonderful time to cherish your partner in ways that make both of you feel better. That's stuff a sick person really honestly needs to hear.

Thursday, April 23

How "curse of the boyfriend sweater" claims its victims

1. Insists that her bf pick out a perfect sweater pattern for himself. Shows him thirty-five or so "options."

2. Opens up several crates of yarn to show him more "options" for yarn but he can't possibly want brown or navy.

3. Knits the sweater during NFL football games, interrupting fourth down for a "fitting" or two while the sweater is in progress.

4. Rips out the sweater halfway through because she doesn't like the combination of yarn and pattern. Picks out a pattern she DOES like, after all, knitter's choice.

5. Gives him the new sweater based on the new pattern she picked out. Points out how much of a "labor of love" it was to make.

6. He breaks up with her, she runs to her knitting circle. See? Curse of the boyfriend sweater.

I am heavily indebted to this Knitty post. Sweater pic from "Bad Sweater Guy," naturally.

Wednesday, April 22

The only question that matters re Cheney and Lieberman

is...why are they lying THIS time?

Cheney and Lieberman, the neo-con and the Zionist, have good reason to lie. It may be puzzling to see these two actually inviting demonization in order to push torture.

It is essential to the neo-con and the Zionist that certain segments of the world believe that "some people in America say" that torture is okay. They don't give a shit about outraging bloggers or even Americans. But they must do whatever it takes to maintain a continual state of warfare and demonization OF AMERICA overseas so that we continue to be threatened by outside forces, which then allows a non-democratic dare-I-say fascist right-wing state to exist here.

That is why they lie.

Tuesday, April 21

We hate it when our friends become successful...

Except when they're amazingly talented friends like Andy Cobb, whose comedy youtube




It can happen.

That said, one of my favorite Twitter follows is Hugh MacLeod/Gaping Void, author of the upcoming book (I know, I know) Ignore Everybody, who argues that it's better for your art if your art is NOT the source of your income. In other words, keep your day job. Or get one if you can.

And, more to the point of Andy Cobb and Countdown, Hugh argues that "waiting to be discovered" also clouds your creativity and weakens the result of your work. I know Andy well enough to know he's pinching himself to bruises over this appearance. Totally unexpected delight makes all the work he's put into his videos (in order to entertain himself and those of us like him) worth every accolade.

As Gaping Void says, "The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props."

Yep, that's Andy. But here's some props anyhow. xo SO PROUD OF YOU.

Monday, April 20

Salon tonight 9 Eastern

We find this works best in Firefox, but no download or special equipment is needed. It's typing chat.

Hope to see you next week! Click here to join us.

Or maybe, "lying on internet quizzes."

Except that the zero percent discipline is right on. And it's not every day I get to compare myself to JD Salinger, Harry Potter, and Seabiscuit in one post:

Your result for The Best Thing About You Test...


Humility is your strongest virtue. You are humble.

Humility is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. And you? When you do the right thing, you're doing it for all the right reasons. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your humility runs deepest.

It is likely you're a quiet type. But if not, then you just have dark, secret side that loves to give.

Humble famous people: JD Salinger, Isaac Newton, Harry Potter (pre-puberty)

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.


50% Compassion

56% Intelligence

75% Humility

56% Honesty

0% Discipline

29% Courage

33% Passion

Take The Best Thing About You Test
at HelloQuizzy

Salon tonight. Happy Monday.

Sunday, April 19

The least we can do is distance ourselves...

I really think the least we can do is banish Bush, Cheney, John Yoo, Gonzales, Rice, and Rumsfeld. Send them with some of their winnings, taxed at 85%, to Bolivia or some other former-Nazi haven to live out their days away from American society.

But I'm dreaming that there will be any accountability and I don't need to discuss my emotional reaction to that.

That's the caution here, folks: Do not indulge the self-talk of how upset this makes YOU. Making a fetish of our own upset, whether it's about 9/11 or Abu Ghraib or Gitmo or Bush or Obama, is taking our eyes off the ball. Pushing for justice requires the vigilance of a calm heart.

Somehow we always forget the serenity prayer. Bloggers are not a serene people, and more than once this week I've smiled to think Obama gave us the gift of further outrage. I'm working with all of that today, praying for discernment, wisdom, patience, acceptance, and most of all, courage. Grateful that praying for this president is SO much easier than praying for the last one. Amen.

Friday, April 17

We aren't REALLY having this dance, are we, Mister P?

'cuz really, it's way too early in your presidency for history to judge you as a lily-livered suck-up to the evil men in the previous administration. And because I can't stand to think about what those bastards did in my name, allegedly for my safety? I'm making this all. about. you. That is all.

Thursday, April 16

VIDEO: Final day of the BG fundraiser - Thank you.

You folks are great. Today is IT. Thanks!

Happy Birthday two [of] them!!!

OMG! Yesterday was Dr. Zaius's birthday, and today is the Birthday of BAC of Yikes!

Happy Birthday you two,
I love love love you!
You are the best bloggers
And you're real world friends, too!

Leave messages over there. Thanks!

My favorite tea party pic.

So she's....a poop? Don't tell my kids: they're at that age and will never stop laughing. Image from here.

So then I made this:

They don't need my hits, but Red State Update is definitely worth a watch today.

Wednesday, April 15

Fundraiser day two (of three)

One of my more generous contributors added a note to her paypal contribution:

Mommy wine money ought to be deductible on Sched A as a medical expense.

At the very least, blogger mommy coffee money should be deductible! Thanks to everyone who has five bucks and is willing to share it. (The button below only allows five dollar contributions. If you want to customize your contribution use the button on the sidebar). And thanks.

Your turn to go down on the cake, my friend.

Happy First Year (BABY) Blogiversary to one of Steve Gilliard's grandblogbabies, Rehctaw. Leave comments and well-wishes over there. xo

Tuesday, April 14

Bill O'Reilly know$ my $ecret $ource of ca$h!

Seriously folks, I wanted to get Blog Against Theocracy over with before I did my quarterly fundraiser. Because times are SO tough right now I'm only asking those with five bucks to give, to give it here.

This button will ONLY allow five dollar donations. (There is a button on the sidebar that will allow more, thanks, but for the fundraiser I'm only asking for five dollar donations).

I ask for contributions four times a year not because it pays for anything more than toner and coffee for a week or so, but because it gives the writer in me and the reader in you a sense of mutual appreciation and exchange for value. If you have it to give, and appreciate what I do, kick five bucks in the hat. And thanks much for being here at my corner of the internet.

Monday, April 13

Salon tonight 9 Eastern

Hope to see you next week! (We learned last week that this app works mostly on Firefox and on other browsers not so much.)

Good morning.

Kids come home from their spring break trip this afternoon. I've been happy busy this week, sewing, cleaning (yeah), knitting and visiting. Plus the fabulous Blog Against Theocracy (submit here, ends today). I want to do a lot more next year to promote that with the corporate media, and I could use some help. Brainstorm on that if you will...


And I sometimes feel like a failure for having moved from the congressional district of Spencer "socialists are taking over Congress" Bachus to the congressional district of John "Bible will say when the world ends and I've got the 'energy' industry campaign dollars to prove it" Shimkus**. I'm le tired.

** Exelon and Ameren sound like such nice, generous, caring electric and gas utilities. BTW, Shimkus also says capping C02 emissions will "steal plant food." I'm sure he meant, COAL plants, people!

Sunday, April 12

It isn't too late!

I'll be posting submissions to Blog Against Theocracy received before Monday night at 9 Eastern. Please use the submission form here to send me your post's url. I can't really keep track otherwise. Thanks to everyone who has participated!

Saturday, April 11

Saturday Song - 4 ma gurls

Because when they get back from Spring Break, we're gonna dance to this one fo' sho.

Friday, April 10

A memo to non-believers about Blog Against Theocracy

[image above from Tengrain, and the post below revised from 2007.]

Dear non-believers, athiests, and others participating in Blog Against Theocracy from a position different from my own:

Thank you.

Thank you for participating, and for your open-mindedness and love toward this little Christian lady.

Here's something paraphrased from some earlier posts, but which really say what I want to say.

So often I talk or email with fellow lefties who have just had it with the religious right to the point that they can't stand Christianity or even religion in general. It's as if there is such a slippery slope in their minds between any admission of faith and total fundamentalism that it's just not worth it to go down that path. No religion is better than any religion, because in the end we all become Pat Robertson or Al Qaeda.

I'm actually quite sympathetic to those lefties who think they hate Christianity. Funny thing is when you engage with atheists in conversation, a great many of them think Jesus was a cool guy, and some actually revere him. Even those who reject Christianity outright are not nearly so angry as they let on.

Let me point something out here, again. Jesus of Nazareth was nailed to a tree by the political and religious CONSERVATIVES of his day because they mistakenly thought they had power and that he threatened that power. ANY Christian, myself included, who thinks they would have rescued Jesus from the cross, that certainly WE wouldn't have gone along with Pilate and Judas and abandoned him like Peter, are just kidding themselves. And those right-wingers who think they're really serving the cause of Jesus by electing Republicans, or working to make America a "Christian" nation? Little Christian ladies can say fuck off, can't they?

It's that the religious right/Republican Party has so often set the discourse that "God/Jesus equals us" that some of us lefties tend to believe that. Rejecting hate speech, intolerance, and fundamentalism becomes rejecting all religion.

But see, I love Jesus, and I'm strongly committed to making sure YOUR right NOT to believe is protected. I also believe, while we're at it, that I would be SINNING against my God to attempt to convert you. That's His provence. And if I believe (and I struggle to, at least) that God is Love and that God loves his creation, I think smart, funny, gifted non-believing bloggers have one of the better tables at Divine Love's cocktail party. You certainly do at mine.

Here's the deal about Christians, though. We're not all Pat Robertson, and I refuse to allow the Religious Right to define what Christianity is, for me, or for my readership.

Blog against Theocracy is this weekend. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, April 9

Blog Against Theocracy - MUST you do it Easter Weekend?


I had a lovely email exchange with a potential writer for Blog Against Theocracy. He is a sincere, believing Catholic and was happy to participate, but objected to the timing of the blogswarm. I completely understand his position, which from my perspective appeared to be more about the writer's own spiritual practice this weekend rather than a judgment about other participants and their piety or lack thereof.

Blog Against Theocracy has always been held Easter Weekend. That is not a slam on Jesus or a silly way to put down religion or Christians. As many of you know, I am a believing Christian myself, although a great many participants to the blogswarm are not. Belief or not has nothing to do with supporting separation of church and state.

There are two good reasons to time the blogswarm during the Easter holiday. One, I admit, is the selfish motive that Easter Weekend is one of the two times a year when the media actually cover religious issues in the United States with a broad stroke.

The other reason, speaking as a believer, is that Easter is a time when what is divinely good triumphs over human will. If you look at Pilate as a purely secular leader (a stretch) and the Pharisees who demanded Pilate kill Jesus as the self-preserving conservative church of Jesus' day (not a stretch, not at all), it is possible to see the Easter story as a perfect allegory of a power-seeking Church and a pandering State's conspiracy failing utterly to destroy Truth and Reason.

If thinking along those lines interferes with what anyone feels is their right practice of faith during this weekend, post later or earlier and I'll be sure to include you. In any event I will be posting links starting tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8

Happy Spring. Two reminders....

Barney Frank is at a live chat at Crooks and Liars this afternoon at 3 Eastern/noon Pacific. I hope the blogs have a good turnout to meet with this curmudgeonly warrior for Our Side.

There was some confusion yesterday with a submitter on the correct link to use for Blog Against Theocracy. Submit your posts here. This link works.

Thanks and Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 7

Thank you, Mister President

I still don't understand or appreciate the whole faith-based office you insist on. If you're considering walking a fine line between The Constitution and the Christian Taliban, Mister President, look for me on the side of "Congress shall make no law respecting..."

But right here you made me feel real good.

Everyone posting this to Youtube seems to be a wingnut Christianist claiming Obama is Satan. Oh, well. If you're reading this from that perspective, guess what? The blog against theocracy blogswarm is all about you.

Monday, April 6

Salon is Monday nights, 9 Eastern

See you next week!

Happy Holy Week. Blog against theocracy.

one of my favorite Post Secrets

I posted the following during an earlier blogswarm but it bears repeating:

...As a self-professed Christian, and that's really all I can lay claim to, my own sins keep me busy 24/7/365. I'm either doing 'em or repenting 'em, and hopefully the good outweighs the bad.

A significant number of religionists actually GET IT that the freedom to practice their religion comes from the glorious gift of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. And actually, separation of church and state goes back farther than that. There was this old timey Jewish preacher who said something once about render unto Caesar...

I'm so excited and supportive of this blogswarm, I can't tell you. And what is most exciting is the participation of atheist and science bloggers, who are smart and thoughtful and well, I'm just honored to be doing something with them.

I really hope this blogswarm does more than just let the world know how we feel about the separation of Church and State. I hope it improves and awakens how we feel about each other. I may be a "believer" whatever the hell that means, but I can't have too many smart, funny, and fascinating, atheists, scientists, agnostics, LGBT bloggers, etc. etc. around here. Who the hell did JESUS hang out with, anyway?

IMO, Jesus wouldn't have a beer with some "saved" politician or hypocritical preacherman today, even if they were buying. For me, God is Love, and Mind, and Truth. And this blogswarm is all about those.

Thanks for participating.


Sunday, April 5

Careful with that wand, photoshoppers.

It's just wrong to create more than is there.

Take Michelle Obama's eyes. Her right eye squints happily when she smiles. And let's face it, her face is very well-known and recognizable.

So when you, Ebony Magazine, hire someone to cut the image of her left eye and reverse-paste it onto her right, um....


And don't get me started about the NY Times video I sent to Shakes. Taking four fashion models and morphing them into one picture is just stupid. Not to mention the whole unreal image of femininity and beauty that image-modification promotes.

My real worry is that late at night on deadline you'll start pasting the wrong Michelle and just completely gross us all out.

An early Easter gift from GOP Chairman Michael Steele

But of course, Steele himself is just the gift that keeps on giving.

The GOP 2009 "membership survey," yeah, (h/t to the lovely LitBrit, who unless she's blogging elsewhere, needs to blog here more, just saying) has enough to keep bloggers busy all the live-long week, even if we weren't composing blog against theocracy masterpieces.


What technology would you like to see the RNC make better use of to grow our Party? Check all that apply.

( ) More Aggressive E-mail Campaigns
( ) More Aggressive Text Messages
( ) More Aggressive use of Twitter


A recent national poll reported that nearly 25% of Americans want the government to pass more socialism. Do you agree or disagree?

I would really love it if the GOP decided to use text messaging and Twitter to expand their message of more tax cuts for the rich, psycho-paranoia about North Korea and Messicans, and hatred of The Gay.

Thanks for the flowers, Michael, I'll put the detachable white plastic made-in-China Jesus statue smack in the middle of my front yard.

Saturday, April 4

Saturday Song

For my gal pal Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister, who loves Morrissey, like, a lot. Rock on, ma hunnies.

Friday, April 3

Hitting the road

Why yes, I am drinking this morning's coffee from my "Fuck Off, I'm Knitting" mug sent to me by my friend Akabini, but it's not directed at anyone specifically, just the abstract universe in general.

The kids are being picked up after school to go vacationing with their dad for ten days. I'm off to yarn-store-explore at Sunday Knits with a good friend north of here.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, April 1

Blog Against Theocracy - focus and planning

A reminder to everyone that weekend-after-next, April 10-12, is Blog Against Theocracy. This is a blogswarm in favor of separation of church and state. If you are not a blogger, read on for an opportunity to participate anyway.

I will be focusing my posts on Obama's Faith-Based mumbo jumbo, as well as the whole Prop 8/Gay Marriage issue. Those two issues are key this year. Blog on whatever you like (local angles are particularly appreciated) and make sure you're on topic. Athiests, agnostics, believers, all are welcome to post, but the topic is "separation of church and state," not "why I hate that non-existent God guy" or "the day Jesus came down from heaven and told me to blog for socialism." Those are great topics and might be fab, but they are not BAT posts.

Here are three other websites I recommend as a resource for your posts:

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

The ACLU's Religion Page


If you are not a blogger, let me recommend:

StreetProphets or Daily Kos, both of which allow diaries. Street Prophets (part of Kos but run by different editors) is a pro-religion website.

Everyone who is on topic will be included with a link at the main BAT website.

Submit your posts to Blog Against Theocracy here.

PS. If you write something great on any topic over the next four days, send me a link to the POST'S PERMALINK URL. I'm linking at the big blog for Mike through April 6. bluegalsblog AT gmail etc.