Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hanover Chili Cook off 2008

The day dawned bright and beautiful and not too very hot. We were going to do our annual trek to Hanover,Pa via Silver Run, Maryland to see our friend Dot...
We got to the chili cook off at about noon and the line was huge but fast moving. If you've never been to a Chili cook off, this would be a good one to start with.
It's held in a big field right next to KClinger's restauraunt right next to where we do the Battle of Hanover Reenactment. We usually meet friends up there and indeed we met up with Mike and Laura and his family too.
Local groups all make huge vats of Chili and you get a spoon when you pay at the door and go around and get small 2 bite cups of the product from each chili group. You vote for the best by leaving your entrance ticket in their bucket. Of course, you have to go around and taste the chili by all of the various groups that make it.
The proceeds all go to charity in Hanover and it's a big event. We enjoy the take on chili that everyone takes, there are Firehouses, families, businesses, and all kinds of groups that make the chili for competition.
Of course, there are various food and drink and beer vendors there too. I brought a huge bottle of water so I just enjoyed the chili and the sunshine.
We're already looking forward to next year's 16th annual event! :)

My girls are SO helpful

It never ceases to amaze me that the kittens can have absolutely no interest in something until the moment when I get busy with it. I decided to work on the quilt that has been on the rack in the living room as the weather has been a little bit cooler so I can stand to have the whole warm quilt on my lap. Belle watches very closely to see how best to help before she dives in.
The girls like to sleep on the quilt rack but that evening they were playing or sleeping elsewhere so I thought I was safe. As quick as can be, Belle jumped up onto the quilt and was well on her way to getting right into the middle of things.
She tried to grab the thread as it went through the quilt and she was also trying to put her paws on the area that I was working on so that she covered up the whole area I was trying to work on.
I tried to move her away so I could finish the motif that I was quilting into the block. I didn't want to have to leave a needle in the quilt in case the girls slept on it later on when I wasn't watching, so I kept her at bay while I finished that block.
She finally partially gave up and decided to just lie down and watch from right "up close and personal".
A little while ago I had a couple of bumps (large balls) of fiber that I had to weigh and pacage and label for the business. I couldn't leave them on the floor as the kittens would try to grab the fiber as I unwound it from the bump. So I gave up and lifted the bags up onto the table and turned around and guess what, the girls had found a way to help.
Rose is much more aloof and demore and doesn't jump right into whatever I'm doing. She prefers to watch from the sidelines. She's settling in here nicely, but she is still the shy one of the two girls.
Unlike Belle who likes to get right into whatever I'm doing, and try to keep control of the whole process. Here she is lying right on top of the bag of fiber with the strand of roving the I'm trying to pull out of the bag there between her front paws. No wonder it takes me twice as long to do anything than it used to before we had cats in the house. lol

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Watching the Olympics

We've been enjoying watching the Olympics on TV in the evenings. As you can see, Belle very much enjoys watching too. She has figured out that it's a lot of fun to try to touch the swimmers, the gymnists, and here, the track runners while she sits up on the speaker under the TV. We've enjoyed watching her too, it's very entertaining. lol She's also grown long enough to nearly touch the top of the TV, she'll be 5 months old in a week.
Rose on the other hand, prefers to watch the TV from the comfort of the sofa where she doesn't have to jump up and spend any energy entertaining the humans. She often falls asleep while watching, but that doesn't diminish her support of the athletes. She's the mellow kitten most of the time. She'll be 4 months old this weekend.
All worn out, the girls decide to move to the quilt rack for a well deserved nap. I'm thinking that they're not going to like it when the weather cools off enough for me to continue working on quilting it. I guess I should be getting another one ready to go on the rack when this one is finished.

Hanover Reenactment 08

I wasn't feeling that great this weekend so I sat and sewed on Saturday afternoon at the reenactment and then through the meeting after the dinner. I was wearing one of my summer camp dresses but forgot to have any pictures done of it so I'll have to table that until another time when I have it on. I changed for the dance into this evening dress that I made last summer for outdoor dances when I didn't want to wear anything in silk but wanted to have a cooler neckline and sleeves. I also tend not to wear light colors for day dresses, but I might have to make a lighter one for future dances.
I was so pleased to see some of my sewing class friends at this dance, it was called by Karin and Bryant, Karin helps and instructs at sewing classes, and Joanne, Patrick, Rosie, and Angela were all there too. It was great! These are pictures I took while sitting out of the group doing the Gothic Dance which is one of my favorites. I think that the women's dresses are so beautiful in the line when they are dancing. Mark is the one in the dark vest in the middle with Angela to his Left. It was very common and appropriate during that era for people of the same sex to dance together rather than to sit out the dances, so everyone gets to dance.
Of course, since the dance was open to anyone that wanted to join, there were some kids that were dressed inappropriately for the Civil War era. Most of the period-appropriate dresses were day dresses anyway, which make these dances more accessible to anyone that wants to come, no fancy ball gowns are necessary. It was fun for all, and I'm glad I got to see everyone that I sew with. I look forward to seeing them at the next sewing class I'm taking in November.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hmmm, what shall I knit?

I finally got some pictures taken of the yarns I'd done at the beginning of July. This blue one is asking to be maybe a's the Louet Northern Lights color "Picasso" plied one to one with Louet Bright Blue Dyed Corriedale, both from (where else) Kendig Cottage Fiber Supply. It's very soft and I like the way the colors came out.
This is the Purple NZ Corriedale plied one to one with some fiber I bought many years ago in Rheinbeck at the show there prior to having a fiber business. There is maybe 4 ounces of this yarn now and I'm not sure what to make from it. It'll be probably mittens or something small. I was able to spin it one day of volunteering at the Carroll County Farm Museum early in the month.
This is a candid shot of the girls plotting something. I'm not sure what they were thinking of getting into, but I'm sure it was something. I know I'm behind on pictures of projects, I'm actually wearing one of my summer camp dresses so hopefully there will be pictures of the two I made in camp to show eventually.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Excerpts from pet diaries

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary......

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary. ..

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I wa s placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now................

Thursday, August 14, 2008

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Last week, Jonathan and Michelle took me to the National Aquarium in Baltimore as a Birthday present. I hadn't been there since they opened the large exibit about Australia, and it's one of our favorite places to go anyhow. Jon and I took our cameras and snapped some pictures of the residents of this wonderful place.
These beautiful parrots are in the aviary and rain forest exhibit. If you stand there and just look around rather than walking quickly through the exhibit, you can see all kinds of beautiful birds and animals there.
One of the aquarium volunteers told us that there was a tree sloth in one of the trees by the observation platform. He showed us where the sloth's arms and legs were but neither Jon nor I could see it.
This guy is a Black Durgeon. He's in the coral reef exhibit and he's my absolutely favorite fish to see in the wild ocean because of the way that he swims. His find undulate and there is a floursent strip at the base of both body fins that shines. This fish shows up as black in natural sunlight while underwater. There was also a good opportunity to take some pictures of the ray tank from above.
These are some more pictures from the aviary where we spend quite a bit of time enjoying the various birds there. This is a pair of sun conures. Michelle is a definite bird lover and she knows a lot about them, so I very much enjoyed learning about the birds while walking through with her.
This guy was up on top of one of the exhibit sign areas, oblivious to all the people looking at him.

This is a Bullnose Ray. The ray tank is always fun to watch, they have rays of several species as well as some really cool sharks and a rescued three legged green sea turtle (honu) which lost his leg and can't be released into the wild again.

These are just some more shots from various areas of the aquarium. If you ever get to Maryland or DC, I sincerely recommend this place. It's web address is They also have dolphin shows and a great 4-D film experience, and a cafe where they DO serve fish sandwiches among other choices. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ticket agent funnies, or are they just kinda sad?

DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of 'why' our country is in trouble!

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, then she interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts .'' Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, ''Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa .''
Her response - click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, ''Don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!''

4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, ''Is it possible to see England from Canada ?'' I said, ''No.'' She said, ''But they look so close on the map.''

5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ''I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.'' (Aghhhh)

6. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m. I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?'' I said, 'No, why do you ask?' She replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!'' After putting her on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno,
CA is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

8. A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, ''Would it be cheaper to fly to California , and then take the train to Hawaii ?''

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked,
''How do I know which plane to get on?'' I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''

10. A lady Senator called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?'' I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane. She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''

11. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa.' 'Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.'' I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, ''Look, I've been to China four times. and every time they have accepted my American Express!''

12. A New Mexico Congress woman called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.'' I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?'' ''Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a rhino anywhere.' ''The lady retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!'' So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo , do you?'' The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.''

Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it's in!
Could anyone be this DUMB?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Why you should never leave plastic bags unattended

I was just telling Michelle (Jonathan's girlfriend) earlier yesterday not to leave any plastic bags unattended because the cat would get into them, so after we got back from buying fabric for a couple of skirts I'm going to make for her, we tied up our bags from the store and I took them all upstairs. I was putting things away and turned my back only for just a second and when I looked again, here's what I found, Belle all the way in the bag and she'd taken up residence! Needless to say, I pulled her out of there and continued putting things away, including the plastic bag! When Mark came home from his business trip and unpacked his small bag, he left it on the bed just for a minute. Well guess what, we looked around and found that Belle had climbed into there and was taking a nap. When I was doing summer camp and taking things back and forth to class, she loved to climb into my tote bag with the fabric and projects, and I do know how much she loves to be in the sewing room when I'm working. Here's Rose in her favorite spot, asleep on the top tier of the Cat tower where she can be pretty sure that she isn't going to get pounced by her sister. She and Belle are getting along very well now, they play and pounce, and they also let each other be quiet and get in their naps. This morning they were eating from the same dish so I guess that they're pretty much friends now.

Some very interesting food for thought

Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book: "Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat"

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges.

When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well.

Here's how it works. As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
United States -- Muslim 0.6%

Australia -- Muslim 1.5%

Canada -- Muslim 1.9%

China -- Muslim 1.8%

Italy -- Muslim 1.5%

Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark -- Muslim 2%

Germany -- Muslim 3.7%

United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%

Spain -- Muslim 4%

Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food
preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

France -- Muslim 8%

Philippines -- Muslim 5%

Sweden -- Muslim 5%

Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%

The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%

Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world. When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness

as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings.
Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:

Guyana -- Muslim 10%

India -- Muslim 13.4%

Israel -- Muslim 16%

Kenya -- Muslim 10%

Russia -- Muslim 15%

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks,and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:

Bosnia -- Muslim 40%

Chad -- Muslim 53.1%

Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Albania -- Muslim 70%

Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%

Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%

Sudan -- Muslim 70%

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%

Egypt -- Muslim 90%

Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%

Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%

Iran -- Muslim 98%

Iraq -- Muslim 97%

Jordan -- Muslim 92%

Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%

Pakistan -- Muslim 97%

Palestine -- Muslim 99%

Syria -- Muslim 90%

Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%

Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%

United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%

100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here
there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the
only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%

Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%

Somalia -- Muslim 100%

Yemen -- Muslim 100%

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

'Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel. -- Leon Uris, 'The Haj'

It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus,Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of theworld's population by the end of this century.

Here is some serious reading for serious thinkers.

Now that you know, what will we do with this knowledge?

(My own thoughts are of concern that we not be too politically correct to a small group that we endanger those folks that are not of that or any other given group. If we don't allow safety of everyone then our system does not work. We should not impose the Western thought process of "everyone should get along" with people that don't want to get along, but rather want to force out and annihilate anyone different from themselves.)