Friday, July 29, 2011

Raise the roof, or the debt ceiling...or not

My friend Rick commented on the debt ceiling standoff to his Circles and I wrote a comment, which I soon realized was a blog. To leave something this long on someone's comment is, well, just rude. I decided to C+V it over here:

Just once I want to see this sort of discussion without bringing up the military, Social Security and Medicare. Yes, they are big budget items, but it's usually the little things that break a budget. Take those 3 big items out of the picture and start cutting the rest. I know how much my house payment is and I can't change that. But I can stop eating out so often. It's the little things.

Here's the thing. We need our government to stop funding every little research program that comes down the pike. Stop funding social agendas with the carrot-and-stick approach. Meet this benchmark and we'll give you money. That is the only power that the Department of Education has, by the way. An estimated $71 billion goes to the Department of Education, plus another $23 billion from the stimulus plan, and the DoE has no power to implement these programs over the states. They can only reward states for meeting their agendas--and effectively removing the power from individual school districts. It's an estimated $93 billion savings if the Federal government butted out of a local issue.  BUT there's a catch and the perfect example is the shuttle program.

How many thousands of unemployed people are there now because they shut down the shuttle program? Think about how many programs, large and small our tax dollars support. Our government funds so many programs that the number of unemployed would skyrocket if they stopped funding them. Not just research programs mind you, but education, social programs; there's a lot of good stuff being funded that would need to find funding elsewhere or shut down.

The ugly truth is that too many of us live off the federal government. The easiest ones to identify are the military, the elderly, and the disabled. However, through federal programs, a lot of us make our living because the government is picking up the tab. Shut down those programs and a lot more people are out of work. 

What we  need are jobs. Real jobs. Not jobs created by the stimulus program that are funded by the government. We need our American companies to come back from other countries and employ American people. We need to stop telling our kids that the only good jobs are jobs in a high rise in a major city, where they wear a white shirt and a blue tie and make a bunch of money. It is okay to work in a factory. It's good, honest work.

I'm no expert. I don't know how to fix the budget, but I do recognize that cutting the budget might be like pulling the 7 of diamonds out of the bottom row of that house of cards. That's probably why Washington throws the military, Medicare, and Social Security under the bus. Those three pull on the heartstrings and we'll fight to save them. Washington doesn't really want to start reshuffling the deck and cutting programs because it will put more people out of work and we can't afford that right now--literally.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My take on Google+ circles

A couple conversations about filtering messages to the right circles got me thinking about how G+ works and how I want it to work. I see G+ Circles like Twitter lists in that I can corral people into lists by topic, but I don't expect them to only post about that one topic. My NCIS tweeps might also be Dr Whovians, for example. There will be crossover and for me, that's okay.

Circles add another dimension. They add the ability for the sender to filter their posts by topic, kind of like adding a Twitter hashtag that we can follow and add to our tweets to be included in the conversation. In some ways when we post publicly or to our circles or extended circles, it's like we're posting our non-knitting comments with the #knit tag. That will be considered noise.

Personally, I like the noise because I recognize that the people I follow are more than knitters or geeks or SM experts. I like finding out that my NCIS friends also are Whovians or Whedonites. The fact that G+ allows us to post to Public, all our Circles, and Extended circles tells me that we're not expected to sort everything we post by topic.

Until G+ comes up with a way to listen multiple circles into our streams*, we may have to drop some of the noise in a circles into our Incoming or into a noisy circle. I would much rather do that than lose a voice that I want to hear. Having said that, I'm giving fair warning that I will not be filtering everything I say by topic, but there will be times when, for example, I'm talking about the Kitchener Stitch, that I will grab my Yarnies circle. If you feel you need to remove me from one of your circles because of the noise, I won't even notice.

note: I know there is an extension to add checkboxes in the stream. Broke my audio/video capabilities when G+ was running and I uninstalled. If you added it, check your Hangout to see if it still works. I'm running Ubuntu Linux YMMV.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Computer clean up

Spent much of the day cleaning up my bookmarks on Delicious, cleaning files on my Ubuntu computer (and a little on the iMac) and then installing Back In Time so it has an actual back up happening.

One of the things I discovered is that I have way too many copies of some knitting patterns. They are bookmarked on Delicious, multiple copies are on my computer, and saved on Ravelry. I also have way too many screen caps from NCIS episodes. Those are stored on 2 computers and on Flickr.

Sorting through those multiples is a project for another day.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ann Cannon: Yes, I knit, but I’m not one of those ‘Sister Wives’ | The Salt Lake Tribune

Ann Cannon: Yes, I knit, but I’m not one of those ‘Sister Wives’ | The Salt Lake Tribune:

"Then I throw down a “sl st,k1, PSSO, k1” combination, after which I shout, “Boo-yah,” as well as “Who’s your daddy!”"

Need I say more? Except unlike the author, I'm not stopping.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Gatsby's knitting.

Gatsby's knitting. by sandbar17
Gatsby's knitting., a photo by sandbar17 on Flickr.

I don't just think about NCIS. I knit as well. This is a tie I'm working on as my carry-around piece. Snapped it at Gatsby's, where go to see friends play. The pattern is from Lion Brand's site. It's the Vertical Striped Tie. You can't miss it.

NCIS Photos: Lost Photo on

NCIS_Gary (NCIS Executive Producer, Gary Glasberg) says if we wish real hard, we may get Abigail Borin to come back for a visit sometime soon. I hope so. We love her.

NCIS Photos: Lost Photo on

Battelle hired to help fight lake algae | The Columbus Dispatch

This is potentially good news. Our lake cabin, which I call CBTL (or Cabin by the Lake in a nod to the Michael Weatherly flick of the same name) is at this lake. My mom worked at Battelle. If anyone can solve this problem, it is they.

Battelle hired to help fight lake algae | The Columbus Dispatch

The Play’s the Thing « NCIS Exposition Faerie

Latest post by my alter ego. Shakespeare and NCIS collide.

The Play’s the Thing « NCIS Exposition Faerie