For Those of You Marching on January 21st, 2017…

…and still haven’t started your Pussyhat Project! If you’re like me, using worsted will be the death knell for your hat because it will take too long; however, I want to wear one!  In the interest of saving time, I whipped out my calculator app on my phone and started with some baseline numbers.  As most of you know, when modifying a pattern, it’s a combination of math and “feel”, so if your noggin is…let’s say, anywhere from 19 – 22″, these numbers should work for you.

I searched my yarn and found every other color in the rainbow, except for pink.  Typical.  So the mock up here, will be just that.  As soon as I can find a ride to my LYS, I will be purchasing the yarn to make for me and a friend of mine.  So don’t worry, I know.  The color here is wrong!

In the interest of not being sued, I will generalize the information about the yarn by not giving the brand.  They’ve already dealt with me before, and to keep it brief, let’s just say my issues are that I am a California girl, born and bred – LOL!  Anyway to the modifications!  Using two skeins bulky gauge yarn and #13 knitting needles, cast on 28 sts.  Follow the instructions as written, keeping in mind that the bulkier yarn may make the ears larger – I’m doing it anyway!!!  And that’s it.

If you don’t knit, or would prefer a crocheted version, I found this pattern:  https://www.pussyhatproject.com/crochet/

Need to find where the march is in your state?  I googled “women’s march 2017” and put your state.  You will be able to find information.  I checked some random states, and was pleased to see all had at least a Facebook page.  Hope to see all my sisters, be you female, male, transgender or otherwise, out marching with us on Saturday 21, 2017.

 

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Our Common Ancestry

I saw this post on Facebook today and was surprised.

I say “surprised”  because I didn’t realize people put so much store in national purity.  I lived in England for five years and was painfully aware of their national pride, but didn’t realize that it extended to genetics.  I mean, really?  France was part of England for awhile there, the Vikings raped and pillaged their way up and down their coastlines, and I’m sure the Romans left more than their straight roads and aqueducts.  I’m not a huge history buff, but these events are common knowledge.

Which leads me to common ancestry.  I don’t think I’m especially well read, or clever, or otherwise, but who hasn’t read, or heard, about mitochondrial DNA theory and how we’re all related to the same early homo sapiens sapiens female in Africa several hundred thousand years ago?  These bits of information come up on my Yahoo homepage; I can’t be the only one reading it.  It ties in with human migration over the millenia, also a well-known fact.  The theories of the Aleutian land bridge and how paleoamericans arrived in this neck of the woods, and the book “Kon Tiki” where the anthropologist chronicles his experiment about pre-Columbian South American peoples being able to cross the ocean to Tahiti, and subsequently, to Hawaii, using native materials, are real good examples of possible migration patterns.  Of course, I am citing only two very well known ideas, because there’s way more out there.  Accept it.  It happened.  The “how” is the only dispute at this point.

An Interesting Yet Disturbing Concept

Why is it that certain information becomes available to me at certain times, and when it does, that’s all I see or hear robotabout it until the next thing comes along or, this idea is realized?  For those of us schooled in the old-fashioned way, which is discussed in this article, the coming AI revolution will change the many aspects of our lives in ways we hadn’t anticipated, much less even dreamed.  By the title of this post alone, you may correctly assume that, yes, I was raised to think in the old school fashion.  For most of us, this is disturbing.  But, like it or not, this appears to be, in varying degrees, a high probability for our future.

Who was is it that said nothing remains the same except change?

 

 

Free Photoshop Action Bonanza

before and after

You all know how I like to share a good thing when possible.  This is one of them.  I follow Vandelay blog because sometimes their giveaways are just the shiznit.  There are 35 new actions, and the one I used for this image was Strong Matte.  If you’ve followed them on occasion you’ll be thrilled to know that this is a totally new set, though I can’t complain about their older offerings.  Learned all sorts of neat new PS special effects, including glowing lines.  Whoo!

If you like PS actions like I do, you’ll love these.   http://www.vandelaydesign.com/ps-actions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Vandelay+%28Vandelay+Website+Design%29

A New Tutorial and an Observation

It has been quite awhile since I posted a tutorial.  I don’t have a video camera, but I have quite a good still photo camera that has the video option, and it just seems to take forever.  I five-minute tutorial can have as many as ten takes, and then the editing.  After all that, I always find fault with the video, but as long as it conveys the message, we’re doing okay.  This time I tackled the Magic Circle, which is one of those simple innovations that makes a big difference, and one wonders why it’s never been thought of before.

Which brings me to my observation.  I learned how to knit and crochet a few years back (euphemism for a LONG time ago!), and the main source of communicating was through paper publications.  You know, you still see the books on sale at the craft and yarn shops.  However, I’ve noticed that since the internet, people have actually been coming up with patterns and techniques never thought of before, or at least, never shared with so many people.  My question:  has the ease of communication via the internet created a more prolific crafting community?  Seriously.  Am I the only one who’s noticed this?  Let me know your thoughts on this!

I Love My Job

I will start this post by admitting that it has two distinctly separate thoughts with a fine thread that connects the two. I think, technically, that it could qualify for two separate entries, but we’re not going to do that. I’ll start with the whole reason that compelled me to write this poorly composed thought…

To begin with, we’re all guilty of running on auto-pilot from time to time, especially at work. You get caught up in the daily routine of small details, and not so small details, that go into working at an office. Detail checking needs to be improved, more files need to be scanned, get the credit card machine fully functional, and discover why the picture taking apparatus works on a sporadic basis while making appointments, setting up new patients, updating returns, blah, blah, blah….you know, work.

Then something stops you short in your tracks to remind you why you’re doing this.

And that happened on Thursday, July 30.  Our last patient.*  She was running late and we’d had a slow day.  You know the situation.  When she came in I thought she looked familiar.  I took care of her input information and noticed the picture we had of her from last year.  Did not look like the same woman; haggard, tired and sick.  This year, she wore make-up, had done her hair and looked good.  I checked some details and found out last year, she was going through chemo, wore a handkerchief over what was probably a bald pate at the time and she had stage IV lung cancer.

I checked again.  Stage IV?  I have included a link to the American Lung Association so you may read for yourself the grim survivability rates are at this point.  I have known people with lung cancer, and I’ve known for quite some time that lung cancer, usually because of when it’s detected, is fatal.  And it’s fast.  Technically, the patient shouldn’t have been here, but against all odds, she was.  And even looking healthy.

When her visit with the doctor was over, I had to speak with her and her caregiver/daughter.  They came out all smiles and I had their recommendations printed up.  I told her how happy we were to see that she was here and what a great thing this was.  Her daughter described the desperate days of last year when she didn’t think her mother would make it and how she became very aggressive with the cannabis oil treatment.  And here she was, downgraded to Stage I lung cancer.

As the details unfolded, I thought of my Uncle Bill who died recently, and how studies in the specific brain tumor type he had showed great results when treated very aggressively with the cannabinoids found in marijuana.  Unfortunately, he’d been in Tennessee when this happened, and the doctors he and his immediate family consulted were concentrating only on traditional methods.  What a waste.  Then I looked at the patient in front of me, happy and given a fighting chance at living out the rest of her life without the immediate threat of cancer looming over her.  I ducked my head, wiped at my eye  and murmured something about having to print up something(yes, just like that), while my co-worker, Wendy, was openly crying, dabbing at her eyes with a kleenex.

Did the marijuana help or was the patient going to improve anyway with the chemo?  I don’t know.  I related this story to my general practitioner and his tone was very neutral when he said that was really unusual.  I understood his position.  Doctors in California have to be careful about their stance on marijuana; it’s not covered under any insurance, the federal government does not recognize its legality here or in other states and they have to consider the general consensus of what their patients think of it.  Most doctors with a private practice can’t afford to jeopardize their standing in the community, medical or otherwise.

But think about it:  A plant that has medicinal qualities, never caused a death from overdose, and even has the venerable AMA wanting to do clinical studies and the federal government has it classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.  I know, I know, I think I’ve talked about this before and until the issue is resolved, I’ll probably talk about it again.  When you have a documented case of stage IV lung cancer being reversed in an elderly patient, wouldn’t you want to how much of this was the traditional medicine, how much was the marijuana, how much was genetics?  So why is the government dragging their feet?  How many more people have to die?  And WHY?

Inhale deeply. Hold for 10 seconds.  Exhale.

Ok.

The doctors who are usually associated with cannabis have mixed motivations as to why they are practicing this.  Most of them are employees of a larger company with the protection that comes from having a group; kind of like

Dr. Banister wearing the hat I made for him for his birthday

Dr. Banister wearing the hat I made for him for his birthday

an umbrella.  The stories I’ve heard from some of the patients about their experiences at other clinics are appalling.  Patients packed in tiny waiting rooms, overworked staff and a quick how-de-do with the doctor.   No real information is given and definitely no rapport is gained with the individuals.  The three of us who work up front definitely try to make the experience go smoother, and the doctor who works here is in it for the right reasons, as far as I’m concerned.  He is a favorite for many around here and wherever he works, they’ll follow.

When his birthday rolled around this year, I thought I’d make him something special.  I put

Using the duplicate stitch was the only option here!

Using the duplicate stitch was the only option here!

aside my shrug (yes, I’m still stuck in the monotony of knitting 46 inches of pure stockinette!) and quickly whipped up a hat.  I tried to make the leaf look realistic, but in the end, I freehanded the Rx to leave no doubt as to what kind of plant was being depicted.  It took me awhile to get the plant graphic down, as I used an image of a real leaf.  Nature is not symmetric!  He accepted the gift with aplomb and said that definitely, he would wear it when he went skiing.  And no, it didn’t escape my attention that I was giving him a knit beanie on the hottest day of the year.  Oh, well.

 

*Patient names not used to protect identity.

Good Causes

walk for a dog

Click on this image to download the app!

Now that I’ve had 12 days to mope over my birthday, and only four more days to (hopefully) close escrow on our new house, I wanted to share a cause with you all.  A good cause.  I know, these days, everyone has a soapbox to preach on, but this is something that’s close to my heart, and obviously, many other people.

All it is, really, is an app you can download on either your android or iPhone and put in some basic information, so that whenever you walk your dogs, a portion of money is donated to your favorite animal shelter.  It’s that easy.  And no, no one is taking money from your bank account and no, you won’t be spammed to death from animal-related causes/societies, and yes, it may actually encourage you to get out more with your dog!  It worked for me.

One of my little stinkers!

One of my little stinkers!

I’ve tried putting a banner on my this website, but for some reason I can’t figure it out in the widgets section.  Anyone?  For now, I’ll just put it in this post and in the meantime, I’d love to hear if anyone can help me out on that banner!  BTW, the random text/HTML widget doesn’t cut it.