Sunday Night Open Thread

Saw this on the way to the greenhouse and knew it needed to be recorded for posterity:

The friend I was with claims that these are actually quite popular and actually have more to do with knitting than eating tasty meat.

Got to the greenhouse and could not make a decision. I put in mint, catnip, two types of basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, lemon balm (by request!), parsley, oregano, and cilantro at the garden at my brother’s house, but I was going to put in a planter at the apartment, yet when I got there I could not make up my mind. Should I just grow some basil and sage and thyme and parsely and cilantro at home, since I will use those most and it would be convenient, or should I grow stuff I don’t have growing that might have different light needs and would be higher maintenance at the apartment, since I can move the planter? I need some lavender, too.

Your thoughts?

Also, I rented the first four episodes of Chuck.






105 replies
  1. 1
    folkbum says:

    I can attest that your friend is right about the knitting. My wife is a knitter, and she tells me about all these “sheep and wool” or fiber festivals that she wishes she could go to.

    Knitting is the New Hotness among a certain set of GenX women, it seems.

  2. 2
    kid bitzer says:

    gotta have rosemary.

    you like to grill stuff, right? then having the ability to pull off a fresh sprig of rosemary is key.

    toss it into the marinade while the meat is marinading. or drop it onto the grill when stuff is cooking. or both.

    it’s kinda like vanilla for baking cookies and stuff–you just can’t have too much.

  3. 3
    kid bitzer says:

    true about the knitting thing. huge number of girl knitter blogs with heavy feminist slant. pretty awesome, really. punk knitters.

    for some reason, this has not hit the quilting scene. no reason why it shouldn’t. and maybe it will in a few years.

    but for now, the knitters (and crocheters) have adopted the web in a big way, where the quilters are lagging behind.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @kid bitzer: Honestly, the only person I think I know who quilts is Svensker’s friend Mary Catherine.

    I’d post pictures of people’s knitting and the like here if we have some commenters who are into that sort of thing. All the sewing I can do deals with buttons and rips, and I only learned that because I was in the army.

  5. 5
    Danton says:

    If you have limited space, put the rosemary in a pot and bring it inside in the fall. It’s a perennial, so you can plant it and have it all winter.

    Basil outside. Lots.

    Parsley outside. Lots. Use the Italian stuff.

    Sage I treat like rosemary; where I am, I’ve got it all winter.

    Sweet marjoram outside. Probably an annual where you are.

    Buy cilantro at Mexican markets.

  6. 6
    Jon H says:

    You should put up a sign next to it: GOD HATES MIXED FIBERS

  7. 7
    Jon H says:

    @kid bitzer: “for some reason, this has not hit the quilting scene. no reason why it shouldn’t. and maybe it will in a few years.”

    I look forward to the Cthulu quilts that will inevitably appear.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    @Danton: We’re a little light on Mexican markets here in central West Virginia.

  9. 9
    Bhall35 says:

    FWIW, I finally got my first Cuisinart food processor (14 cups!)

    So far I’ve made Hummus and Baba Ghanoush (because that is how we Islamofascistsocialistliberalnontbaggingpaganists roll) from scratch today, and it worked like a charm.

    Shoulda known this would wind up in moderation…

  10. 10
    omen says:

    thought it was another teabagging event.

  11. 11

    Umm, John, is it too late to go dig up the mint and catnip and re-pot them in planters? Both are invasive plants, once started, they grow like weeds, spread like weeds and nothing kills them. A friend of mine who is a horticulturist swears even full strength Round-Up won’t kill them.

    Nothing ruins a great Mohito like having the mint take over your garden.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    So far I’ve made Hummus and Baba Ghanoush (because that is how we Islamofascistsocialistliberalnontbaggingpaganists roll)

    This is another thing that drives me insane about the current food nonsense from the right. I was eating homemade baba Ghanoush in the middle 1980’s in West by God Virginia, made by my father, the white guy who was raised on a farm in heartland Ohio and grew up going to a Baptist Church that he worked in as a janitor to pay his way through school, ruining his knees cleaning hardwood floors on his hands and knees.

    It’s baked eggplant with some spices. It ain’t exotic. I seriously do not understand these guys. “Tabouli? What’s that shit? That don’t sound like no taters to me!”

    Idiots. Have they never been anywhere with a population greater than 20,000 people? Ethnic food is ubiquitous. Hell, a couple decades ago pizza was “ethnic.”

  13. 13

    I’ve been to several fiber shows (Estes Park has an Alpaca and Fiber show every summer). I can barely knit a stitch, but a friend is an enthusiast and since she supports my crazy hobbies, I go with her. They’re fun, lots of great fiber products (socks, sweaters and things that look designer) – but I really go to pet the Alpacas, Llamas and rabbits.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    The mint and catnip are segregated as suggested in the comments. Besides, they are at my brother’s house, and I joke about having a black thumb, but he was seriously struggling to grow catnip before I started planting. Kid could kill zucchini.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: My friend’s kid was at the zoo today and got bit by a pig. I thought that was funny since it did not break the skin.

    Speaking of mean farm animals, you know what are mean? Geese. Nasty bastards.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    The necessities are parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Poultice that with garlic and salt and pepper and olive oil, stick it under the skin of chicken breasts with bones on, and roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked. Your mouth and tummy will thank you for days.

  17. 17
    Bill Zebub says:

    A sheep fest in West Virginia? I can only imagine…

  18. 18
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “Chuck” is a good show, though it’s totally unbelievable since it occasionally has the CIA tell a lie.

  19. 19
    Jon H says:

    @John Cole: “Speaking of mean farm animals, you know what are mean? Geese. Nasty bastards”

    Geese are plain evidence that birds are descended from dinosaurs. If they had 3″ claws they’d know how to use ’em.

  20. 20
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    A lesson for new farmers. Never feed chicken guts to a pig. If you feed chicken guts to a pig, the pig will develop a taste for chickens and eat them all. Bury the chicken guts.

    Also do not get drunk and pass out around pigs, the pigs might eat you. This has happened.

  21. 21

    @John Cole: Yup, try riding your bike through Canadian Geese territory during gosling season! Though the little ones make me laugh, so I forgive them.

    I forgot to mention petting the Yaks, my new love. They are softer than any bunny. I’m trying to convince my friend to spin some of their fiber for me. And they can look you in the eye. My aforementioned friend was afraid of getting gored, but my experience is they are gentle love muffins that communicate in grunts.

    Mint/catnip: Okay, as long as it’s in your brother’s yard…

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    Yarn (spinning & dyeing included)/knitting/crochet are very popular now. There are sheep and wool festivals all over. Usually you can also get lamb burgers and lamb sausage, etc. at them too. And they feature live sheep. Neat, fun events. And they are big business, whether held in a city convention center or a country fair ground, they draw lots of people to an area. Oh, also, it isn’t just women who are into fiber arts. Lion Brand Yarn Studio hosts a male only knitting/crochet group once a month. And I have to mention Franklin — a knitter and crocheter (http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com).

  23. 23
    Poopyman says:

    Pretty much what Kid B sez. I’d definitely put the stuff you’re going to use on a day-to-day basis in the planter at the apartment. Nothing like pinching off just what you need as you need it.

    I’ve never had luck with catnip. Every cat in the neighborhood will find it within 24 hours. That’s one that will probably only survive on your balcony – assuming you don’t let Tunch get to it.

    I had a rosemary plant last through 4 winters here in Tidewater Maryland. Had it on the east side of the house nestled between 2 boxwoods. If I’d had it against the house on the south side, it might still be there. It got to be about 2’X2′, but I don’t think it was a culinary variety.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    Speaking of mean farm animals, you know what are mean? Geese. Nasty bastards.

    Geese are nothing less than the spawn of Satan. Canadian geese are the Great White North’s revenge on us for treating them like a red-headed stepchild. I tell you what though: the eggs make fantastic HUGE omelettes.

  25. 25
    Incertus says:

    @John Cole:

    Idiots. Have they never been anywhere with a population greater than 20,000 people? Ethnic food is ubiquitous. Hell, a couple decades ago pizza was “ethnic.”

    They probably think Americans invented tacos. There’s not much Americans can actually lay claim to as an original food invention that isn’t in the snack cake family, so far as I can tell. We appropriate everything, suck most of the flavor out of it, and then market it to kids by sticking a toy alongside it.

  26. 26
    Walker says:

    For those of you into knitting, you should check out Ravelry. Talk about information sharing. My wife actually used them as a use case for a research paper on data integration.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    They probably think Americans invented tacos. There’s not much Americans can actually lay claim to as an original food invention that isn’t in the snack cake family, so far as I can tell.

    Chop suey. Everything with tomatoes in. Sweet potatoes. Bourbon, and every other preparation of corn.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    I’m sunburnt as hell, and decided to have a beer, so I tried a Hoegaarden Witbier, and I did not like it at all. Any of you like that?

    Thank goodness I have a Shiner Hefeweissen to wash away that taste, and I had the good sense to pick up a lemon.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    @Walker: I’d like to read that paper. You have a .pdf you could fire off to my email? Might come in handy with some stuff I have been looking at, and at the very least could be a good blog post.

  30. 30
    MazeDancer says:

    While knitters are always looking for good new blogs with well styled pictures of interesting yarn and projects, there are thousands of knitting blogs. It’s a gigantic community, full of creativity and artistry. Knitting’s biggest internet site is Ravelry.com which has 350,000 members.

    We could possibly start a “Balloon-Juice Knitters” group there. The “Raveling Kossacks” only has 12 members. While the “Knitters for Barack Obama” has 4129 members, so room for recruitment.

  31. 31
    The Other Steve says:

    I can’t believe you aren’t planting Arugula.

  32. 32
    The Other Steve says:

    @Walker: Wow. That looks like a well designed site for such a small niche of people. Just wow.

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    They probably think Americans invented tacos. There’s not much Americans can actually lay claim to as an original food invention that isn’t in the snack cake family, so far as I can tell. We appropriate everything, suck most of the flavor out of it, and then market it to kids by sticking a toy alongside it.

    Barbeque and meatloaf are considered American dishes, at least according to culinary historians (I knew my addiction to Alton Brown would pay off someday!). Also most dishes made with turkey are at the very least North American. Granted the vast majority of our culinary heritage is a cultural hodge-podge, but we have come up with a few things on our own.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    @The Other Steve: I didn’t clear enough land for stuff I can not can. Plot was too small and I screwed around too long, but I am killing the grass in an adjacent area with a couple sheets of plastic and some rocks to hold it down, and will plow it and get the rocks out and get the soil ready for next year.

    Next year.

  35. 35
    Crashman06 says:

    @John Cole: I like Hefeweissen’s quite a bit but Hoegaarden has never quite settled well with me. Not sure why….

  36. 36
    Krista says:

    I dabble in knitting, which is my usual approach to any hobby. I’m just not hardcore into anything. Knitting, painting, photography, playing the fiddle, gardening…I’m a dedicated dabbler. :)

    Good choice on Chuck, John. It’s not a heavy-duty, exquisitely written drama, but it’s a damn fun show to watch, and it has Adam Baldwin in it, which brings extra win to the whole thing. It’s actually one of my favourite shows on TV, now that BSG is over, Lost has lost me, and Heroes turned into shit. I’d be surprised if you don’t enjoy it.

  37. 37
    Steve T. says:

    Well, to combine the weird festival name theme with the food theme, you can’t beat the Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival, held every Labor Day weekend in Morgan City.

    Their logo is a hoot.

  38. 38
    John Cole says:

    @Crashman06: I was drinking it thinking this is a confused hefe thinking it is a lager or a lemon drop. Really did not work for me.

  39. 39
    boomshanka says:

    Definitely agree with Krista – Chuck is one of the few shows I watch regularly. It has great cast too, and you can never go wrong with hot chicks kicking ass. I hope it doesn’t get canceled.

  40. 40
    Crashman06 says:

    @John Cole: I don’t want to sound like a beer snob here but… I believe Hoegaarden is owned by Bud or Miller or one of the huge players and it’s taste has been leveled for the masses.

  41. 41
    Steeplejack says:

    @Yutsano:

    Find it hard to believe that barbecue is originally an “American” dish, since the very word comes from the Spanish barbacoa (and some Caribbean Indian language). And my OED has the first use of the word in English in 1697, when “American” hardly had the U.S.-o-centric connotation it has today.

    Sorry. Nitpicking. Probably because I wish I had some good barbecue right now. Looks like homemade pizza and red wine for me tonight.

  42. 42
    Betsy says:

    Chuck is silly but fun. We watched the first episode and thought it was lame as hell, but then we started watching this year (2nd season? Or maybe we just started halfway through the 1st season? don’t remember) and got hooked.

    I started a quilt in college, because I needed a bedspread and I had very crafty roommates (1 in particular is actually a textile artist, making woven wall hangings and other art in edition to clothing) and they convinced me that was the way to go. 7 years after graduation, the 3/4 finished quilt is sitting, still packed, in a cardboard box that my kitty likes to sleep on. Le sigh…I actually love the design I made for it, and finished the piecing; I just never finished the quilting. Can you hire that sort of thing out? Because I’m not under the delusion that I even remember how to finish.

  43. 43
    Krista says:

    boomshanka: well, it was renewed for another (albeit reduced) season, so there’s hope.

    I wish someone would explain to me, however how every goddamn mediocre “schlub + hot wife + meddling in-laws” sitcom, or cop procedural gets renewed with no problem, but different, interesting shows either get canceled early (Smith, Drive, Jericho), or are under threat of being canceled (Chuck).

  44. 44
    John Cole says:

    @Krista: This blog is my hobby.

    You have no idea how many times I am thinking about something and say “That would make a great blog post and I bet someone knows something about it or they would like to talk about it.”

    I even keep a log for mileage and gas consumption in my car where I write down how much gas I purchase, the price, the date, the mileage, and whatever repairs I have that I use as a notebook for when I have ideas when I am driving.

    And before people mock me, I got the habit while I was in the army, and the very best way I know that something is going wrong with my car is when there is a statistically significant change in my mileage. So there.

  45. 45
    Betsy says:

    They probably think Americans invented tacos. There’s not much Americans can actually lay claim to as an original food invention that isn’t in the snack cake family, so far as I can tell.

    Mmmm…chocolate. We have the “New” World to thank for chocolate.

    ETA: Though you were probably talking about the contiguous 48, weren’t you? In which case that doesn’t apply.

  46. 46
    Danton says:

    “We’re a little light on Mexican markets here in central West Virginia.”

    Bummer. I guess you can’t get good corn tortillas. At any rate, thyme will be a perennial there.

  47. 47
    Krista says:

    @Krista: This blog is my hobby. You have no idea how many times I am thinking about something and say “That would make a great blog post and I bet someone knows something about it or they would like to talk about it.”

    That’s why this is such a good blog, then. You don’t do it half-arsed, or out of obligation.

  48. 48
    Betsy says:

    @Krista:
    When I learned that “Two and a Half Men” was the top rated comedy on television, I almost threw myself out a window.

  49. 49
    Crashman06 says:

    @Betsy: It blows my mind that people think that show is funny. How is that possible?

  50. 50
    kid bitzer says:

    #26, 29–

    yeah, ravelry is one of the sites i had in mind. use that as your hub to investigate the world of radical feminist girrrlll knitting blogs.

    (i know about this via my niece, who’s that age. and knits incredible stuff, god love her.)

  51. 51
    Krista says:

    When I learned that “Two and a Half Men” was the top rated comedy on television, I almost threw myself out a window.

    I did not know that. That’s just wrong. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of it, when nothing else was wrong. It’s…okay…I guess. It earned a couple of “heh”s, upon occasion. But I never actually laughed out loud like I do during The Office, 30 Rock or Chuck.

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    @Krista: Chuck had me in episode one when he was at the party to get him a date and he was explaining that the tape on his fingers was because the controller chafed from long sessions of Call of Duty. I laughed for a solid five minutes, because I have friends who console game like that.

    Speakin of, I need a game. I’m done with warcrack and have not had a good game in a while.

  53. 53
    Betsy says:

    @Krista:
    Exactly, and its bread and butter are really tired, misogynistic jokes about how women are either airheads or controlling and emasculating mothers.

  54. 54
    Crashman06 says:

    @John Cole: Empire: Total War. Nuff said.

  55. 55

    John save yourself some trouble with killing the grass. Just mark off the area and cover with several layers of newpaper. The newpaper acts as a great ground cover and you can just poke holes in it then plant a cover crop (any kind of legume will do) in August and let it go dormant for the winter. Mulch it with some straw so that in the spring you will have some decent soil.

  56. 56

    @Betsy

    When I learned that “Two and a Half Men” was the top rated comedy on television, I almost threw myself out a window.

    I like Family Guy’s take on Two and a Half Men.

  57. 57
    The Saff says:

    @ Besty and Crashman06

    My 88 year old mom-in-law loves that show. When she was visiting us a few years back, my husband and I watch an episode with her. It was one of the most excrutiating half hours of television ever. Gawd but that’s a bad show.

    We’re very excited to be able to watch “Breaking Bad” tonight real time since we get to sleep in tomorrow. However, at least we know we’re losers.

  58. 58

    @John Cole

    Speakin of, I need a game. I’m done with warcrack and have not had a good game in a while.

    Have you played BioShock? It is teh awesome, especially if you’ve read Ayn Rand.

  59. 59
    South of I-10 says:

    I wish I could quilt, but I guess I would have to learn how to sew first. I made bead jewelry for a long time, but quit after little South was born. No time and I was sure she find a bead and choke on it.

    At Steve T: Just curious – have you ever been?

  60. 60
    Crashman06 says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: I second that. What a game.

  61. 61
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    Driving to a BBQ today. I saw the following two bumper stickers on a large SUV.

    1. McCain/Palin 2008

    2. Democrat Votes Caused $4 gas

    The second still puzzles me…

  62. 62
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Speakin of, I need a game. I’m done with warcrack and have not had a good game in a while.

    Warcrack was computer. Are you specifically looking for computer, or are consoles an option as well?

    I’ll second bioshock, with the note the “hacking minigame” was painful (on the xbox 360 – might not have been so bad with a mouse on a pc).

    I’m still getting play from elder scrolls IV: Oblivion, and I finally got (and understand the fanbase for) Mass Effect.

  63. 63
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @John Cole: Haven’t read all the comments so forgive me, but I used to work at a dairy/pig farm as a kid, and I was chased by the biggest, meanest looking pig in Christendom once, and it was made worse by the fact that the entire field was a mud bog (thanks to the pigs) and I couldn’t move an inch without being bogged down. I have never been so scared, being chased by this monster (I swear that in my memory he had tusks the size of small trees, but I am sure that was a fabrication).

  64. 64
    PurpleGirl says:

    Betsy #42: I’m sure there are people who can be hired to finish a quilt. (There are contract knitters and crocheters, why not quilters.) I don’t have time run some quick web searches right now but one idea I had was that you should buy one or two quilting magazines and check the back of book ads see if there are any for people who finish quilts. There might be ads which refer to web sites. It’s a place to start. Another place might be Etsy, although they’re artists selling their work. Perhaps though you could inquire if a quilt artist knows someone who might do contract work.

  65. 65
    Crashman06 says:

    @Kirk Spencer: Just finished Fallout 3 a week ago. Highly recommended.

    Also, I’ve been addicted to Dwarf Fortress lately. If you have 10+ hours to waste to conquer the learning curve, it’s worth it. And free too!

  66. 66
    erinsiobhan says:

    Basil in a pot at home is a good idea. We keep two pots going year round (one thai basil, one sweet basil) with 4-5 plants per pot. Occasionally we have to toss in a few more seeds if we have an accidental wipeout or get overly enthusiastic in harvesting.

    Catnip in a planter could be good fun for you and Tunch (and us if you film the result).

    Cilantro in a pot has never worked well for us, mainly because we eat so much of it. We now keep a big patch of it in the garden – easy to maintain because it reseeds itself fairly well (although the new packet of seeds tossed in every couple of years helps as well). Ditto for our dill plants. Both cilantro and dill tend to get leggy and weedy looking so they are kind of ugly in pots.

    Catnip, sage, chives, thyme, oregano and lavender are all perennials so we leave them in the garden. Rosemary goes in a pot on the patio.

  67. 67
    J. says:

    I. Love. Chuck. It is without question my favorite primetime TV show — bar none (except for the occasional, really good Sunday or Monday Night Football game, though I put sports in a separate category).

    You are in for some good TV, John Cole. Chuck ROCKS.

  68. 68

    @John Cole: John while the black plastic will work you may want to try out a lasagne approach, it is better for the soil and the worms, you lay down several layers of newspaper over the area you wish to cultivate, add a layer of some sort of mulch (it could be grass clippings it could be anything) then a layer of topsoil. The newspaper kills the grass and the dead grass works into the soil as a fertilizer, if you leave it for a year (or less) you will have a bed that is full of nutrients and ready for planting. I am the impatient type, I make a lasagna bed and plant right into it, cause that is the way I am (it is usually created in an emergency cause I have bought a whole bunch of plants at the lowes dead plant section and have nowhere to put them) This is the last Lasagna bed I did, and I think it works quite well.

    http://img.photobucket.com/alb.....009035.jpg

  69. 69
    Incertus says:

    @Krista: There have been some real head-scratchers in that position over the years. Everybody Loves Raymond? Seriously? Give me It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia any day.

  70. 70
    Stephen1947 says:

    My daughter-in-law is a knitter, and a quilter – and a locavore. She and my son remind me of the back-to-land movement we DFWs flirted with back in the glorious sixties – except for how bourgeois they are otherwise…

    Bad Horse’s Filly @ 21, who wrote: “Yup, try riding your bike through Canadian Geese territory during gosling season! Though the little ones make me laugh, so I forgive them.” Around here (the Fenway in Boston) there isn’t any place that ISN’T Canadian Geese territory – we’ve got a big park and tiny river running through the middle of the ‘hood, and I would bet close to 1000 geese live within a mile of me.

    Just last week I saw a wild turkey on the roof across the alley from me – and I live on corner of Mass. Ave. and Boylston, which is probably the busiest intersection outside of downtown in the entire city – that was unusual enough (first time for me) that I looked twice, but I hardly even notice the red tailed hawks that keep the local pigeon population on their toes (I lie – I love the hawks and get a thrill everytime I see them.)

  71. 71

    @Betsy:

    Are you nuts? Chocolate? (Okay I am gonna go away and research this before I make a complete fool of myself)

  72. 72

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    You are a man after my own heart!

  73. 73
    South of I-10 says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: so glad you posted about the lasagna method – I have come across it on a few different sites, but didn’t know if it would really work well. I think if I started one now it would be ready for fall planting. I am fairly new to gardening, but I have been having a lot of fun with it.

  74. 74
    Cain says:

    @John Cole:

    I’d post pictures of people’s knitting and the like here if we have some commenters who are into that sort of thing. All the sewing I can do deals with buttons and rips, and I only learned that because I was in the army.

    I look forward to your “Knitters Gone Galt!” pic posts.

    Also, “lemon balm”? Are you crazy??! Plant it in a pot, and never let it in your garden. It will take it over just like St. Johns Wort. I’m still trying to kill the lemon balm I planted 5 years ago. It’s everywhere.. argh.

    cain

  75. 75

    Hmmm chocolate is South American in origin, not sure how that makes it American (by the natural use of the term) however the best chocolate is European without a doubt, unless you have sampled a chocolate from a Belgian chocolate store after having wandered down the street and found the shop, then, can’t help ya.

  76. 76
    Cain says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m sunburnt as hell, and decided to have a beer, so I tried a Hoegaarden Witbier, and I did not like it at all. Any of you like that?

    You need to put like a lime or something in it to make it taste good. Grapefruit? It’s definitely something you want to have with some additives. I’ve had it straight though and it is yummy.

    Oh man.. lots of yard work today and spring cleaning. But tomorrow I gotta hit the books for class on Tuesday and I don’t want to go to wooork.. waaah!!

    cain

  77. 77

    Oh and by the way talking about all the knitters and stuff, the Women’s Institute was considered basically a club for women who made jam and knitted tea cosies. (It was made famous in the Calendar Girls movie), however in recent years more and more young women are joining and are becoming very active in the movement. Gordon Ramsey had a show in which the WI members judged a recipe, they were young, and upwardly mobile and very interested in the Women’s Institute movement.

    http://www.thewi.org.uk/

  78. 78

    John the best thing in the world for sunburn is raw tomatoes, sliced very thinly and placed upon the affected area. Works like a charm.

  79. 79
    lizzy says:

    This thread is why I love this blog! Knitting, herbs and Chuck….

  80. 80
    Krista says:

    Oh, and a second for Fallout 3. Evidently it’s very re-playable. Goodness knows my husband spends enough time on that game — and he’s pretty selective.

  81. 81
    Indylib says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Hmmm chocolate is South American in origin

    I thought chocolate was from the Aztecs. Doesn’t that mean Mexico, ergo North America?

  82. 82
    Betsy says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Indeed. Came from Mexico and central America. Though they didn’t have sugar at the time, IIRC, so it tasted quite a bit different from what we’re used to.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate#History

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    Betsy says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Oh, I see – well, it’s from central America, which is part of North America, technically. And anyway, I specified “New” world, which includes both North and South America. :) And furthermore, many South Americans get quite indignant when U.S.A.ers refer to the United States as “America,” pointing out that the term includes everything from Canada to Argentina.

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    Yutsano says:

    Sorry. Nitpicking. Probably because I wish I had some good barbecue right now. Looks like homemade pizza and red wine for me tonight.

    I know the feeling. I was promised ribs for dinner tonight. Ended up with chili. Still kinda cranky. But you’d better believe I’m gonna enforce that Famous Dave’s promise I got out of my mother!

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    Betsy says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:
    LOL!!!!!! Thank you for that. That made my night.

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    Cap'n Phealy says:

    Sheep and fiber? Why, that’s haggis!

    We had a haggis with our Memorial Day BBQ today. Not kidding. A real (well, given that certain ingredients in a true haggis can’t be sold as foodstuffs in the U.S., as real as can be over here) haggis, and it was delicious. (Not kidding about that, either.)

    Sadly, the guy who made it has retired and closed shop, but he tells me he’ll still be doing ’em for special occasions (mostly Burns Night), so I hope to be having his haggis for years to come.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Krista:

    I’m the opposite of a dabbler — I throw myself into hobbies headfirst, which is why I have a bunch of rubber stamps and other paper arts paraphernalia I haven’t touched in five years. Fortunately for my husband’s sanity, I’m much better at knitting than I ever was at paper arts, so this hobby will probably stick for a while longer.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    And since this is a thread of randomness, if anyone out there likes hard cider, I strongly recommend Magner’s — you can get it at BevMo. It’s hard to find a cider that’s not sickly-sweet or a strange fruit flavor, but this is a good one.

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    TenguPhule says:

    I thought chocolate was from the Aztecs. Doesn’t that mean Mexico, ergo North America

    No.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    G. looked at this catalog of mine and said, “Wait, someone knitted a little Hitler?”

    (It’s not supposed to be, but in that picture … yeah.)

    I’m currently making him one of these for his birthday.

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    And you can even use knitting to illustrate various concepts in topology.

    Knitting! It’s not just for lumpy sweaters any more!

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    Anne Laurie says:

    One advantage of dogs over cats, so I’m told, is that you can spin doghair for knitting into very wearable garments. Cat hair, on the other hand, has a quite different microscopic structure & won’t work very well even as an additive to lambswool…

    I actually love the design I made for it, and finished the piecing; I just never finished the quilting. Can you hire that sort of thing out? Because I’m not under the delusion that I even remember how to finish.

    You are so not alone. There are so many “quilters” (piecers) who’d rather not do the fussy finishing work that there’s a cottage industry to take advantage help them out. Just be prepared to pay for your convenience! Get a quilting magazine, or for safety’s sake look at one in the local chain bookstore. Here’s the website for my favorite, which has a good balance between “art” quilting, traditional work, and the simpleminded textile equivalent of paint-by-number kits:

    Quilters Newsletter Magazine

    (Mandatory disclaimer: I have never quilted anything larger than a vest, but by the ghoddess I have enough quilting supplies to stock a teaching workshop if not a small shop.)

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    I went on a 25 mile bike ride today with my friend Rob whom I have known since 1977 when we were both un-coordinated geeks in gym class at Marcus Whitman Junior High School in Port Orchard, Washington. On our way out and way back to the start point I saw a man with only one arm riding his bicycle. I gave him a thumbs up when we met the second time because you don’t see a lot of amputees riding bicycles and he said “Hey”, but now I’m wondering if he was thinking “Jesus, what a fucking dick, giving a thumbs up to a guy with one arm.” I’m curious to know how he works the brakes and shifters on his bike with only one arm.

    When I got home from the ride I made a tasty michelada with some lime juice, soy sauce, PBR and spicy V-8. It’s the perfect thirst quenching beverage after a bike ride on a warm day, electrolytes, carbohydrates and a ton of vitamin C.

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    Only peripherally related to knitting (because the characters look as if they’re made out of burlap), Tim Burton’s new film 9.

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    KRK says:

    Knitting is indeed in the midst of a resurgence, both as an individual activity and a social one, e.g., “stitch and bitch” gatherings. Fiber fairs and even fiber CSAs are big hits. There are knitting conferences and knitting celebrities.

    The worst that an angry goose could do is break your arm, foot, or other extremity; a pig might kill you and eat you. So I’d take bad-tempered, loud, feces-dropping, lawn-killing geese any day.

    John, if you’re not also noting where you bought your gas, you’re not recording all of the relevant data.

    It’s very common for hobby quilters to devote their time and energies to piecing the top and then hire out the actual quilting. If there’s any kind of sewing/quilting organization in the area it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone who can be hired to do the quilting.

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    liberalMom says:

    You may find that fresh catnip is too strong for Tunch.

    When presented with fresh “weed,” one of my cats would take a whiff, screw up his face (very odd to watch!), and then beat a hasty retreat.

    I had to harvest and dry the stuff before he could bring himself to get close.

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    sal says:

    Lavender gives you man boobs. Don’t know if this is a plus or minus for you, just mentioning it.

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    Bey says:

    You can see some very cool stuff at sheep & wool fairs. The one at Estes Park (in 2 weeks, yay!) has sheepherding demonstrations which are a blast to watch.

    I once saw a half-dozen sheep led by an old boss ewe stare down a young corgi. He was new at the biz (corgis are actually cattle dogs) and that old ewe got his number in about 30 seconds flat. She charged him and he ran for the hills. It was hilarious.

    If you get a chance to see a sheep-to-shawl competition, those are pretty cool. Teams have 4 hours to shear a sheep, comb and spin the wool, and weave a shawl.

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    R-Jud says:

    I planted some tiny, straggly lavender and rosemary plants about four years ago that are now nice happy hip-high hedges, about 6′ long. If, on a bright, sunny day, you lay your freshly-washed pillowcases and sheets over them to dry, you will have that delicious smell with you when you sleep for a good week.

    Like LiberalMom, I’ve also found that fresh catnip tends to put our kids off. What they really love is valerian root. I have to be careful digging around the valerian, because if I break the roots, our two cats, and our neighbor’s two cats, and some others around the neighborhood all wind up in the back garden, getting high and fighting and yowling.

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    tess says:

    You can plant lavender anywhere and it will grow. We put it in a dead area on a hill that gets way too much sun and even though we were in a terrible drought and heat wave, it survived fine despite being in baked red clay.

    I’ve decided I need savory to make a decent chicken pot pie, and I have about a dozen parsley plants around the yard so the monarch caterpillars and I both get enough for our needs. I had to go without fresh rosemary this fall and winter, and it was awful–I had no idea how much I used it. I also have a bay plant, which is surprisingly hardy. Greek oregano is something I couldn’t do without–mix it with some grated asiago and fresh black pepper, a little olive oil, and it is perfect for any carb–pasta, dipping french bread, pizza sauce.

    Also: how do people who own cats knit? Do you wait until they are asleep in another room?

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    If you saw Coraline, the tiny sweaters worn by the puppets were hand-knitted on very, very small needles.

    (And if you’re an animation fan who hasn’t seen Coraline, shame on you.)

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    grumpy realist says:

    Aha. Here’s another would-be quilter here, if I can ever get the time. Fell in love with some of Kaffe Fassett’s ideas and am hoping to work up to some of his more spectacular creations. (Also I have the basic net for a 7-fold quasi-periodic tiling pattern which I’ve always wanted to do.)

    Right now am simply swapping out buttons on clothing and refurbishing dingy stripes on old sweaters by covering them with new ribbon.

    Oh, if anyone wants an absolutely excellent collection of instructions on everything needle-related, get your hands on An Encyclopedia of Needlework. (Originally published back in 1899.) Wonderful diagrams, and more different types of lacemaking than you can shake a stick at.

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    cathyish says:

    @lizzy: You are so right – Ravelry + Balloon Juice + Chuck = best thread ever.

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