Makkin Belt


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In the Shetland Islands, knitting is known as ‘makkin.’  Hence the name for my belt.  You see, most production knitting used ergonomic methods that allowed women (and men, and children) to knit quite quickly, with even tension, and allow knitting while walking or caring for family tasks.  In the Shetlands, this involved a knitting, or makkin belt.  It’s worn with the large part on the side, and a double pointed knitting needle (pin, as they’re known in the UK) is inserted into the belt at an angle that allows the needle to remain stationary and enables the hands to maintain a more ergonomic position for a longer period of time.  It also keeps the wrists more or less out of the motion of knitting, which greatly reduces the risk of over use injury.

I purchased the leather, the awl set, the leather needle, and rivets at my local leather shop.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I could only get one of the rivets to stay and “grab” the belt so it’s sewn at the other end.  It was a lesson for next time.  The belt was already made, purchased at the thrift store for something like 50 cents.  It’s stuffed with a surprisingly large amount of tulle, as horsehair – the traditional stuffing, while available – was extremely expensive.  I know, it’s not especially pretty, but I’m hoping it will be functional.  ETA:  I used graph paper to sketch out the basic shape and traced it onto the leather.  It’s approximately 8″ long, and 3″ wide.  I used the 1/8″ diameter awl bit to make the holes for the lacing.  I ‘eyeballed’ the holes both for the lacing and for the needles; I didn’t have a tiny awl for small diameter needles so I used a T pin and made those holes; the larger ones are made with a hand punch awl of an unknown diameter.  They are randomly placed on the surface.

I have noticed lately that knitting causes me to have pain at the base of my thumb near where it joins the wrist whenever I knit for more than an hour or two – even if I am a good doobee and get up and stretch every hour.  I currently have a very large collection of circular needles that I’ve accumulated, because I find they are easier to carry around and use wherever I go. The alteration in my style when I use them, however, causes the pain due to my wrists turning more to flick off the stitches.

I have decided that if I am ever going to be a production knitter I need to become MUCH faster than I am.  I’m no slouch right now, but I really want speed without sacrificing quality.  When I knit with single point needles, I have always naturally braced one against the crease of my thigh or into a pillow next to me, which allows me to knit faster and more ergonomically.  I have no idea where I first learned this, but my paternal grandparents were from Ireland so I may have seen Irish style knitting at a very young age and simply copied my grandmother without realizing it (she passed away a long time ago, I have no real memory of her other than her asking me if I understood – in Gaelic).  Using a knitting belt is a natural extension of my instinct, that will allow me to knit in other places than my couch – and to take it with me anywhere I go.  I did try lever knitting, where the needle is held under the arm, and that hurt my wrists very badly very quickly.

This is a video of Isolda Teague using a knitting belt.  It is probably the most clear in the placement of the belt and the use of the needles that I have seen.

I haven’t tried it out yet, but I am anxious to do so on some sort of project that can be appropriately hidden (like socks) until I get the hang of it.

I suspect that in times to come, when hand made becomes a necessity once again, this will be a good skill to know and to pass along.  And I have enough leather left over to make another belt as well.

Peak Music


I was sitting outside during my lunch break last week.  There was one of the housekeeping staff also outside on lunch; he was listening to music.  As I sat there, I heard songs from the Velvet Underground, Suicidal Tendencies, Def Leopard, and more.  Now, this wouldn’t be surprising except that this young man was just that – maybe 24 or 25.  I was stunned, and after hearing a bit of this, I commented on it.  I said something to the effect that he wasn’t even alive when most of that was popular and I was amazed that he listened to ‘oldies.’  He replied that it was what he grew up listening to, and he likes it better than what passes for music on the radio anyway.  We had a (from my point of view anyway) good talk and even discussed the Ramones and how, as a former punker, my kids were exposed to the same sort of music and one of my sons has the complete collection of the Ramones’ music.  He laughed and said he has it too.

Then, I was at the grocery store yesterday, walking back to my borrowed truck with my bag of purchases.  A young man who couldn’t have been more than 17 was cruising slowly past the front of the store with the windows rolled down, obviously driving his parents’ car, and equally obviously looking for someone.

THIS was blasting out the open window.  I started laughing.  For the second time in just over 8 days I heard music that I grew up listening to, coming from not middle aged listeners like myself, but from young people who *theoretically* should have their own music to listen to and identify with.  I turned to the middle aged man sitting smoking a cigarette at the table on the sidewalk and remarked on it.  I said something to the effect that this kid isn’t much older than I was when this came out!  The man laughed and agreed, and shook his head.

Having listened to some of the newer stuff on the radio I have thought that I was the problem – that I just couldn’t relate to this new stuff because I’m old and I don’t get the references or something.  I remember my mom getting that way, and Mr. TF has shared a story about driving his father somewhere as a teen – dear FIL finally turned to Mr. TF and asked “who ARE these screaming a$$holes?” when forced to listen to some 80’s hair band for too long.

I’m now thinking that maybe young people, particularly those who play an instrument even a little, just don’t care for the modern stuff any more than I do.  I can’t think of more than one or two people I know under the age of 30 who even listen to the radio – they are all either listening to 70’s era punk, or 80’s or 90’s era stuff.  Or they are listening to indie music that defies being stuffed into a single genre.

Have we come to peak music too?  I suspect we may have, if these young people are any gauge.  More than anything it tells me we are on the downslide of our current civilization. (and off topic, I want to know why spelling civiliSation is wrong).

What do two wrongs make?


Every religion has its behavioral standards. Some of these include behaviors of the mind; the Ten Commandments for instance include physical behaviors – thou shalt not steal – as well as mental behaviors – thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s … Buddhism has its Eight fold Noble Path, Asatru has its Nine Noble Virtues, Wicca has its Rede; all deal in part with making sure motivations and actions are for the betterment of oneself and/or one’s community. Of course, some of these also deal with rules for approaching ones’ God(s) and with proper worship and sacrifice, it IS religion after all, but in the main these, to me at least, deal with proper mental orientation producing proper physical behavior.

I’ve been thinking about this recently and trying to examine motivations vs. actions in whether an action can be wrong in the lens of religion, morality/ethics or the law even when the motivation was pure. Is it in fact possible to act from pure motivations and still err in behavior? Meaning, can one do the ‘wrong’ thing for the ‘right’ reasons? And is it acceptable to be punished for one’s wrong action even when the motivation was pure? If one does act from pure motivation and commits a wrong action, is the punishment that ensues just? Or is it always that wrong actions come from mixed or impure motivations? Is it error that produces the wrong action, or lack of knowledge?

And what about the other person(s) who were involved and the fact that they were committing wrong (and possibly illegal) actions with patently wrong motivations: does this person deserve karmic retribution? Justice? Punishment? Or is their wrong action ‘cancelled out’ by the wrong action of another?

Consider for instance telling a lie. In Christianity, this is always considered wrong. I was brought up not as a Christian, but I was involved in it when I was younger. I was brought up in a family that valued honesty for the simple reason that even poor people can possess honesty as a form of wealth that cannot be taken away. In Asatru however, this doesn’t necessarily apply, if another person has lied (and been caught in it) to you. There’s a standard of behavior one is expected to uphold, as a general rule, but if the other person violates it, one can choose to behave honorably or not based on one’s own assessment of one’s situation. Now, I’m not Asatru, but this is how I interpret it.  And I believe that telling the truth, being honest, is a value that is central to my life.  I may be many unpleasant things, but a habitual liar is not one of them.

Take Thor for instance. He dressed up as a woman, as a bride, to be wed to a giant. He went through with the ceremony. This is a pretty big lie!! But he did it to get his hammer back, and to prevent a larger wrong. His wrong actions were in response to another’s wrong actions, and the motivation was at least in part pure: to save another from a bad marriage, and to get back what was his and wrongly kept from him. Does that mean two wrongs make a right? Or have they cancelled each other out? Does the fact that Thor is a God mean the same rules do not apply? Or is this to be taken as an example for the people of Asatru in dealing with others who do not have the same standards?

I know there are many questions in this post. I have recently been through a great deal due to a ‘wrong’ action that arose from pure motivation. My motives, I believe, were pure, but I let my frustration with the other person’s illegal and unethical behavior, and apparent immunity from consequences get the better of me. Not only that, but I acted from incomplete knowledge and this in itself was critical to what followed. Does allowing emotions to be involved mean I did not have pure motivation? Or was it that I had incomplete knowledge and therefore could *not* have pure motivation? How does one go about making sure motivation is pure before acting?

I have been punished physically, mentally, legally, financially. The punishment continues for a currently unknown amount of time; it may be up to a year before my punishment will end. All of this because someone stuffed a ballot box, repeatedly denied the right to free speech at public meetings, and intimidated people. The back story is that this same person cost a neighborhood association their non-profit status from illegal activities and has a pattern of rights violating behavior. In addition, there have been irregularities in the financial accounting, the potential use of the association for illegal land transfers or zoning changes, and more. Nevertheless, this person and this board remain in power to do what they will, and I remain the one punished. I have been questioning my motivation as a result and have spent a lot of time pondering these questions.

This is a poor way to end a post, but I welcome thoughts on this subject.

Doug Ducey is an ass.


I may, or may not, end up updating this particular post with appropriate links, but right now I am so angry I just have to post.

Doug Ducey is the governor of Arizona.  He ran under the guise of bringing fiscal responsibility to our state.

The new budget passed is a travesty.  He says we can’t afford to fund teachers, higher education, social services.  But apparently we CAN afford to fund the building of NEW private prisons that will be run as FOR PROFIT enterprises and we will see only a FRACTION of the revenue brought into them, all the while our taxes go TO those prisons to fund the staff and maintenance.  W. T. F. Doug.

If they wanted to REALLY do something they could legislate that school administrators make a maximum of 10% more than the teachers AND that they have to keep their offices INSIDE the schools they are administering – and superintendents must ALSO be inside one of the schools, or maybe in a rentabox type trailer on school grounds.  NOT in lush separate buildings at a hard to reach location.

If they really wanted to do something they would do the same with the higher education schools.  It’s ridiculous when a nursing instructor with a Master’s degree makes so little he/she still has to work part time as a nurse in order to make ends meet.  And again, the administrators should be making a MAXIMUM of 10% more than the faculty.

I won’t even go into the problem of the school sports programs and the corruption there.  I worked as a tutor for some of the football players when I was a student at U of A.  O.M.G.  Well, first you have to learn to read and write English before I can tutor you.  And no, I am not going to do your work for you.  Obviously I didn’t last long at that job. That was more than 20 years ago; I can only assume it’s even worse now.

So let’s cut social services.  OK, I agree, there are a lot of moochers out there.  But if you’re cutting school budgets, that means students suffer.  If students suffer, they’re not getting an education.  And if there are no social services available to keep them off the streets/get and keep a job?  They become criminals.  And then they end up in the FOR PROFIT PRISON SYSTEM.  Oh, I get it.  We’re paying back our for profit prison buddies who got us into office, not serving the citizens who have to pay the damned taxes for this shit. 

WTF Doug Ducey.

Yay.


Several things.

1.  I did very well on my final exam, which was a mock board certification test.  I bettered my score on the initial mock certification test at the beginning of class by 11 points – both of which were passing scores, but I wanted to do much better for my second test.

2.  I had official transcripts emailed to the Board of Nursing on Friday Feb 20th.  They received them, according to the school (meaning they actually opened the email) yesterday, Feb 25.  They still have not acknowledged receiving them on the website.

3.  I sent official transcripts to the certifying body on Feb 25.  They acknowledge it and have it posted as of today.

4.  Which means, between 3 and 4, I will have paid for a temporary certification for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON at this rate.  Because as soon as I get the authorization to test, I plan to schedule my exam.

5.  My truck got stolen from a public library parking lot in broad daylight on a weekday!!!!!  THANK YOU TO OUR SOUTH OF THE BORDER FRIENDS….YAY OBAMA AND HIS DACA’S.  It was found the same night, sans tires/rims/exhaust system/splash guards on the front end, clutch burned out, transmission possibly trashed, steering column and ignition system trashed.  ETA and one of the running lights duct-taped to the body.  It’s at the shop now, hoping they will not total the vehicle if the cost to replace all of that is too high.  I called Discount Tire this morning, they gave me a quote of $1290 for replacement tires/rims of exactly what I had.  The insurance company is questioning the rims/tires, wanting a receipt.  We keep telling them, WE BOUGHT IT THAT WAY.  Good thing I have a photo of the truck with the rims that I texted to my son or we would be screwed. 

6.  I have other things going on right now, stress upon stress.

7.  I just have to have faith that this is going to make us stronger in the end.  And that fighting for ‘right’ will win out over evil in the end.

It’s almost like the longest gestation in history.


I have completed my clinicals.

I will complete my paperwork today.

I take my final exam for my final class tonight.

I began this journey 37 months ago.

After all this time to be done, to have only the board certification exam to stress about, seems very very odd.  I’ve been so stressed for so very long now.

I guess it’s time to clean house and get the garden ready for spring…

Huh. Maybe writing for school for 5 years has done my writing some good.


Mr. TF has been telling locals about my blog, and some of them have apparently read it.

I’m not ashamed of my positions, and I’ll happily back them up, but it kind of weirded me out for the simple reason that I *know* a lot of these people in the flesh.  I don’t make it a point to broadcast my views publicly because I know many of our associates are extremely conservative ala Glenn Beck, and because frankly some of them don’t have the best critical thinking skills.  And even the ones who are relatively moderate may be aghast that I appear liberal in many areas yet do not toe the liberal party line on many essential issues to the liberal platform.  I’m in a zone that is neither liberal nor conservative really, and I don’t know what you would call it.  I personally call it the common sense party.  Prolly not gonna fly as a national party though, entirely too reality based….

I guess I’ve impressed at least one or two though, at least according to Mr. TF.  I spent tonight re-reading many old posts.  I have to say that I thought I made some good points, and wrote in a semi-compelling fashion.  Some were interesting to read merely because I wrote them so long ago it was like reading someone else’s writing.  Some, of course, were silly and I would not write about that now.

Mr. TF insists my best writing is about political/social stuff.  The interesting thing about those posts is that I stew about stuff for days or weeks, and when I finally sit down to write it usually comes out in a 3 or 4 hour burst.  They are that long only because I need to research my facts in order to link before I post.  I personally HATE reading blogs where authors make all kinds of assertions that, without links to back it up, are nothing but opinion.  Give me your sources, I can make up my own mind, thank you!  Occasionally my own posts have come from reading a blog which is patently trying to leave out critical facts in order to bolster their own shaky case.

I still need to post more on the libertarian issue, but there is SO MUCH HISTORY to the topic that it is frankly overwhelming until I get past the challenges I am currently facing.

I miss my kids and grandkids.  I feel in need of grand baby hugs right now.  Just sayin’.

Measles Schmeasles.


I am SO DAMNED SICK of all the hype about the ‘outbreak’ of measles at Disneyland.  So far, nationwide, there are something like 171 ETA 87 cases connected to Disneyland.  171, 87, people.   And how many have died?  NONE. 

When my children were small, my mother, a former nurse and special education teacher, asked me not to continue with the current vaccination schedule because she had concerns about a possible MMR/autism connection.  Now, keep in mind, this was in the early 80’s, LONG BEFORE DR. WAKEFIELD.  My oldest son did have a change in behavior after receiving his first MMR.  It concerned her enough that she made the request.

She also had concerns based on Japanese research, if I remember correctly, about other problems like ADD/ADHD and vaccine induced encephalopathy.  So I did as she asked.  My children *were* fully vaccinated.  Just not according to the CDC schedule.   And not until they were ready to start school.  The key, I believe is that in the 80’s, and early 90’s, the vaccine schedule was approximately HALF the number it is today, and doctors were much more proactive about NOT giving vaccines to children who were sick.  Today?  Not so much.

Let’s talk about measles for a minute, shall we?  My oldest son is the product of a high school romance, and is actually a half brother to my other two children.  Because I was a single mother for the first part of my oldest son’s life, I had to work to support us.  The day care he went to was in the home of an older German woman, who also watched 4-5 other children.  One of these children got measles when Dear Eldest Son (DES) was 12 or 13 months old (14 mo?).  DES got it shortly thereafter.  And so did I.  Now, DES was too young to receive the MMR yet; it was given at either 15 or 18 months of age then (I can’t remember for sure which).  I, however, had been fully vaccinated as a child and *should* have been immune.  Yes, well.  So, at the age of 19, I spent a week with my child in a darkened house, both of us feverish, rashy, and suffering from headaches and light sensitivity.  And then we got better.

This is the normal course of measles, by the way, in a basically healthy population with good sanitation.  Between 2000 and 2005, I believe there were less than 10 deaths from measles.  There have been ZERO deaths since 2005 from measles.  It’s not exactly a terrifying horrible disease that kills millions in the US every year.  And you should know that the side effects *of* the measles vaccine are the SAME as the measles:  encephalopathy, pneumonia, febrile seizures, death.  Adverse effects per the package insert.  Oh, and you can get measles *from* the vaccine.  This is because it is a live virus vaccine.  12 month old with lab confirmed measles, vaccinated Jan 2015.  The difference is that vaccine induced immunity wears off.  That’s why I got it even though I had been vaccinated.  And that’s why DES got it even though he was breastfed, because my waning vaccine induced immunity couldn’t protect him.  We both are PERMANENTLY immune now, though, because we have actually had measles.  My titers reflect this. 

Contrast my story with this:  Doctor fed up with measles outbreak takes controversial stance.  Oh, yes, those children with measles are such a threat.  It’s such a deadly disease that ZERO people have died in the past near-decade.  Terrible risk, isn’t it Dr. Goodman?

Well, here’s the thing.  The strain of virus in the vaccine is no longer the wild type strain of measles.  This is well documented and can be easily (though expensively) checked when measles is confirmed in lab testing.  So people who are vaccinated, AND up to date on their vaccines, can still get and transmit measles, thanks to genetic drift away from the vaccine strain that causes a less than robust immune response.  The body doesn’t quite recognize measles because it’s not quite the same, but sort of the same, so the immune system can’t decide if it should respond with the antibodies it has already made against the vaccine strain or if it’s something else entirely.  Here is a study that documents the differing immune type responses (in cell cultures) between the two.  Notice the statement that the vaccine strain doesn’t induce the strong immune response that the wild type does.  That’s key to this discussion.  Now I should say that my original major was microbiology and immunology, but I do not pretend to be any sort of an immunology specialist or expert, and this is what I get from the studies I have read.  A less than robust immune response is why people are not immune and get subclinical or atypical disease.

So you get measles, you feel crappy (sometimes) but you don’t look like you have measles.  The good thing is that after you *get* measles, you will actually be immune.  Here are some studies that document measles infection in vaccinated populations:  Subclinical measles in Greenland,   Measles and subclinical measles in Africa,  just for a very small sample.  Google “subclinical measles in vaccinated people” for many many more examples.  In fact, the CDC admits this in the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) for August 24, 2013:  “Thirteen (8%) of the patients had been vaccinated, of whom three had received 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. “  You can read the rest of the report here.

It’s not that uncommon for outbreaks to occur, and the hype over how dangerous it is is dreadfully overstated.  For instance, this Wikipedia  article quotes the CDC as stating in the 20 years after the measles vaccine was introduced, it prevented an “estimated 5200 deaths”….that’s 260 per year.  Now I’m not trying to denigrate 260 people dying every year from measles, it’s still tragic, but hardly on the same level as, say, heart disease in which the CDC estimates 600,000 deaths every year – 1 in 4 deaths EVERY YEAR from something mainly lifestyle related.

My personal suspicion is that, since the CDC makes $36.22 per 10 pack of vaccines it sells to licensed vaccine providers (that’s your local doctor), it has a pretty profound vested interest in making sure the population is forced into receiving the MMR.  This is especially true since the two main virologists who worked at Merck, the ONLY licensed M/M/R vaccine producers in the US, are being allowed to proceed with their lawsuit  against Merck for fraudulently inflating the effectiveness of the mumps portion of the vaccine.

So, in conclusion, I think the CDC is as corrupt as any private pharmaceutical company, and just as financially reliant on vaccine sales for their existence.  And because I think this, I believe they are deliberately chumming up hysteria and mongering fear about a relatively harmless childhood disease in order to protect a part of their revenue stream.  Vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, it’s up to you.  I’m just not that worried about a measles outbreak in my community.  Vitamins A and D, decent nutrition, lots of fluids, sunglasses, and common sense should be all we need to recover without sequelae.  And that’s it.

And now back to the regularly scheduled knitting and studying frenzy that is my life until my final exam on February 18.

 

10 Reasons Why the Mafia is Better than the State


thetinfoilhatsociety:

Realistically there are some problems with this assessment, but overall I could get behind this. My local government ‘enforcers’ act like thugs anyway. At least with the Mafia I know exactly what I’m getting, my family at least has a history with them. No, I will not elaborate. ETA: well Prohibition was really the only way to make a living back in the day. Just sayin’.

Originally posted on Flyover-Press.com:

From a talk by Emily Sandblade via The Art of Not Being Governed

Reason Number 10: The Mafia has a sense of honor. If they say that they will do something, they stick to it. Nobody in the government has a clue what a sense of honor is. If they say that they will do something, you can count on it only if you’re getting screwed.

Reason Number 9: The Mafia code of conduct is simple and clear, and unfettered by legal doublespeak and millions of regulations.

Reason Number 8: When competing Mafia families go to war, they don’t kill hundreds of thousands of civilians as “collateral damage.” War is the health of the state, but for the Mafia, it’s bad for business.

Reason Number 7: Instead of conducting the war on drugs and the American people, the Mafia is perfectly happy to peacefully provide high-quality products to those who…

View original 642 more words

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