Friday, June 20, 2014

Updates: #4

Who is that pair of handsome dudes, anyway? Oh yes, I recognize them as those Alcatraz comic book men, signing copies of their collaborative efforts at Escapist Comics, and looking pretty pleased with the world.

The Purple Viking potatoes - planted in February and harvested in May - have once again performed well. As in 10 full pounds of well. Yumm...

And, well yes, the artichoke did something too, obviously something pretty, but not enough for bragging.

Mom came for a visit, and together we hit every nursery, botanical garden and flower tour in the region. Her favorite: Annie's Annuals, although somehow she didn't quite manage to spend all of her gift certificate. I guess it will keep until next time.

And Princess just waited for everyone to shut up, go home and let her get on with the business of stalking those pesky squirrels.


Oh yeah, and what about that upset result from the Virginia primary? Did too many, or too few, voters turn out for Eric Cantor? Just shows to go ya, someone's gotta vote, and it probably should be you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Knitting is for the Birds

You've heard about oil spills. And you've heard about the devastating effects that an oil spill can have on wildlife in the area. Which means that you may have also heard about the campaign(s) for hand knitted sweaters for penguins in Australia and New Zealand. As well as the excessive abundance of those adorable little sweaters that now used to dress up plushy penguin toys.

I missed that - must have been working on some mittens for afghans for Afghans. But this time, I'm not missing out:

Wildcare in San Rafael is asking for handcrafted "nests" (think round, dopey hats) for orphaned baby birds. Yup, baby bird season is in full-swing right now, and somebody has to keep those newborns snug and warm until they are old enough, and feathery enough, to go back into the wild.

Wildcare is asking for 1200 woolen nests, and, as of today, has already received close to 400. I have six almost ready to be mailed off. They are really fast to knit but it's that "almost" that I'm working on this week. Because this time, my dopey hats really are going to the birds.

Instructions for making nests yourself can be found here.

And my stack of nest-hats can be found here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

And the Race is On

Even though they are not on the ballot this time (yes, don't forget to vote on June 3rd. It's silly, I know, but it's just whatchagottado.), the candidates for Oakland mayor are very busy. Not surprisingly (as "from the Land of Dah"), all of the candidates have three main, the-same priorities:

  • Security, and we're not talking blankets and bedtime stories.
  • Education, so why then do we have a separate school district with its own board?
  • Jobs, jobs and jobs. Especially, high tech, high paying, low impact and green, all-at-the-same-time jobs. 

And what about that nasty budget stuff? Right...

Since each one's message and campaign literature all look, smell and sound the same, how do you know how to vote in November? Recently the candidates have been coming door-to-door: Jean Quan, Joe Tuman and Brian Parker have all shown up. For us, this approach just adds to the recycling pile and makes Princess the cat race for the back door. Otherwise, it's not that useful.

(As an aside, I think Jean Quan graduated with honors from the Look 'Em in the Eye and Shake that Hand Very, Very, Very Firmly Academy because she just mashed my hand. And I can say that the mangling started even before I said that I probably wouldn't be voting for her... )

But the house party we attended last week (not a fundraiser, only a forum) featuring Libby Schaaf was very informative. Yes, I knew the name, but since nothing else distinguished her from the other ones running, so what? Well, the what is that this format provided the time and space to ask questions and have them answered more fully. I mean, there was even talk about potholes and no one was joking. Yup, potholes, not potshots. (Thank you llana & Sam and Leslie & Gary.)

So I plan to go to these neighborhood house parties, attend those Meet the Candidates events and ask, listen and ask and listen some more. You might also want to try this strategy: trust me, it beats the heck out of getting your hand crushed.