April 29, 2006


I guess I want to comment on this rumor about an Atlas Shrugged movie. I'm so not going to see it. I love this horrible synopsis of the book:

The Russian-born author's seminal tome, published in 1957, revolves around the economic collapse of the U.S. sometime in the future and espouses her individualistic philosophy of objectivism.

My husband came home ranting about this, saying that Hollywood types might be surprised to find that the "economic collapse of the U.S." isn't because of global warming or Bushitler's junta. This book is about the triumph of capitalism, so it's ironic that they're considering Miss UN for the lead role. Seriously, Angelina Jolie is a fan of this book? She can read?

And I'd love to see the trainwreck that is Oliver Stone's version of The Fountainhead.

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Note to those who are moving: When they say that your unaccompanied baggage will be picked up any time between 0700 and 2100, they ain't lyin'. Nothing like giving you a 14 hour time window to sit in an empty house. Our guys showed up at 1800.

Second note to those who are moving: The vehicle registration office closes at noon the last business day of the month for inventory. That info would've been nice to know when we set up our car shipping appointment for the last business day of the month. They're also closed on German holidays (Monday's Communism Day, I mean May Day), so if we hadn't raced to get there at 1120, we would've been out of luck for clearing.

Third note to those who are moving: Don't get a billeting room with a kitchen when you're outprocessing. Your TLA is double! Woo-hoo. That will offset the money my husband had to shell out to CIF.

Thank goodness this week is over.

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April 26, 2006


Well, the house is packed. The movers said they had never spent four hours packing a kitchen before. I guess fourteen boxes of dishes and kitchen stuff is a bit much. Our household goods are mostly dishes, yarn, and books.

I noticed one thing today. You'd think that people who design military housing would make it conducive to moving. Since people are always moving in and out, maybe twisty staircases and right angles in the hallways are not a good idea. I watched the movers bang my stuff a million times while they were trying to maneuver out the front door and down the huge step. These houses should have ramps!

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April 24, 2006


Charlie Puppy made it off OK this morning. I think. He was crying up a storm when we had to leave him, but I think he was only crying slightly harder than I was. He still has another 11 hours until he gets to the Midwest.

We're getting ready to take apart the computer. It goes in unaccompanied baggage, along with ma games and trophies. (There's a little AFN humor for ya.) We're staying with Erin for two nights, so I might find the time to hop online at some point before we go.

Now I'm off to organize our school clothes, and maybe a winter coat.

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April 22, 2006


Charlie just loves that big bear that his friend Lewis gave him. He drags it around everywhere with him, apparently even when he has to pee. Just a minute ago I heard my husband downstairs say, "Charlie, you cannot take that thing outside."

Tomorrow starts the big moving process. We take Charlie to the airport at the crack of dawn on Monday. Our phone and internet gets shut off on Tuesday, which is when the movers come, so I will probably be out of the blogging loop for a while.

Only nine more days until Dairy Queen.

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April 21, 2006


Pixy saved the day again, it appears. I guess he changed servers for mu.nu and I didn't know to redirect my site. But now it appears to be working! If we ever have this trouble again, know that my site also appears at its home in Munuviana: http://tryingtogrok.mu.nu

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April 19, 2006


Yesterday was Charlie's first birthday. He invited six of his closest friends over to the house. They had Beef Bacon Cheddar cake and Charlie got lots of toys and treats as gifts. And all his friends went home with party favors as well.

The party went much better than you might expect for inviting multiple dogs into your home. We videotaped the event, and this was the one screen shot where we could get all seven dogs in the picture. So here's Charlie being the center of attention...


And here's Charlie, worn out at the end of the night, playing with his new birthday bear...


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Look at this bunny's feet! Happy Easter indeed!

And Kelly found the most wonderful project: The Binary Hat

I really enjoyed reading this blog post about teaching other people to knit. I have taught many people, and most of them have continued knitting. I love that. Erin and Kelly were the funniest though. They came to me and said, "We want to learn to knit. Teach us to make socks." Seriously. That was their very first project. No scarves for them. They didn't learn to purl or cast off for ages! Nothing like starting with the hardest project.

I've been thinking a lot lately about branching out. I've knitted English for nine years, and I really want to learn continental. But every time I try, it's so awkward that I just switch back. But all knitting is awkward in the beginning; I just need to push through the pain and learn it.

Then I could knit standing up!

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April 18, 2006


Charlie likes to sit on our bed and look out the window. Here's an old pre-haircut photo of him doing it.


Two minutes ago he was sitting on our bed like this and caught sight of our neighbor going out to her car. He barked once and then leapt towards the window, crashing into the glass, nearly impaling himself on the window handle, and falling to the ground.

Sometimes I think he's brilliant, and other days I'm not so sure.

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Reader Jim sent me a link to a hilarious knitting project. I first thought the link was going to be something more like this. So I had a good laugh when I saw what the Tree Sweater really was.

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Mark Steyn on Iran:

You know what's great fun to do if you're on, say, a flight from Chicago to New York and you're getting a little bored? Why not play being President Ahmadinejad? Stand up and yell in a loud voice, "I've got a bomb!" Next thing you know the air marshal will be telling people, "It's OK, folks. Nothing to worry about. He hasn't got a bomb." And then the second marshal would say, "And even if he did have a bomb it's highly unlikely he'd ever use it." And then you threaten to kill the two Jews in row 12 and the stewardess says, "Relax, everyone. That's just a harmless rhetorical flourish." And then a group of passengers in rows 4 to 7 point out, "Yes, but it's entirely reasonable of him to have a bomb given the threatening behavior of the marshals and the cabin crew."

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April 17, 2006


My mom was having a hard time getting into my website over the weekend for some reason, so she googled my site to try to access it that way. If you've been following my site for a few years, you may remember the day I got Lefty-lanched, when hundreds of people came to my website to tell me how dumb I am. My mom ended up back in the middle of that mess via google, and what she found really surprised me when she told me today.

Someone didn't like a blog post I wrote. They thought it was dumb and mathematically unsound. So he wrote a post about what an idiot I am. I personally think that's in very poor taste, but whatever, it was his choice for his hate-filled website. But his comments section went too far. Apparently some commenter published my name, address, and phone number, and the contact info for my parents as well. Thankfully, other commenters thought that was a low blow and the owner of the site took the info down. But, man: I just realized that two years ago I was personally attacked for something I said online. People who disagreed with me seriously meant to hurt me. And I didn't even know it until today.

It's funny because at that time, I got some really hateful comments. This site had nasty comments too -- including the ones that said that my husband left his wedding ring home from Iraq so he could get laid -- but this other blog owner also got a handful of comments defending me. It was nice to read this comment:

I saw all of this via cruel.com, and really don't get why everyone piled on. It didn't seem to me that she was doing a stat analysis so much as making a (not very carefully worded) point about reporting bias highlighting certain aspects of a poll already suffering from several questions that presented insufficient response choices to options that begged other questions.

I was not under the impression that she literally thought that only 615 people in the entire United States responded in a certain way to question quoted above. In fact, it was obvious to me that she wasn't. To think that's what she meant, you'd have to assume an almost non-functional level of stupidity. I guess the assumption of simple-mindedness was in place because of the general trend for lefties to view righties as intellectually inferior, for the simple thought crime of not being lefties.

Coming from cruel.com, I'm used to good quality links of people making asses of themselves. I'm still waiting for the punchline on this one, and I can't tell if the intended stupidity was supposed to be the original blog entry on tryingtogrok or all of this odd, over-the-top follow up.

Now that's some common ground I can enjoy! (emphasis mine)

I've been thinking a lot about comments these days. Lots of the big right-leaning sites don't even have comments sections, and I can completely understand why. Charles Johnson has to answer for everything that's written on his blog, when he himself only posts links and pithy snippets. But he's a "racist" and a "fascist" because of his comments section. I've often wondered how Markos Zuniga lets people post the crazy things they say under the umbrella of his site. No one takes note of the diarist; they just attribute the whole thing to Zuniga.

So what's our relationship to our comments? The other day I somehow managed to get a comment from a White Power site. I don't know how they found me or what they thought they read in my words, but there they were. Does it make me a white supremacist because someone thought he had identified me as one? Am I a religious fundamentalist just because Will Sommerset called me one?

A lot of times I've just considered shutting my comments section down. But I guess I've grown accustomed to the noise.

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April 16, 2006


Erin asked me if I was going to write a post about Easter today. My day started out great, with the last Sunday Knitting Club at my house. But it was all downhill from there. My husband needs a military vehicle early tomorrow morning, and we spent over two hours driving all over Bavaria trying to find the soldier who has the TMP keys in his pocket. At that point we were both already quite grumpy, so after dinner we sat down to watch a movie and relax. Of course it didn't help our mood when the disk started skipping and we had to restart the DVD player five times. And then Charlie nipped my husband's hand while they were playing and got him pretty hard on the finger, and I cut my hand on the medicine cabinet and started bleeding myself. We gave up and came upstairs to go to bed and forget about today.

But Happy Easter anyway.

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The Girl finished her first major knitting project. It looks so nice. And she made up the cable on the sleeves herself! Her brother's baby will be so cute in it.

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April 15, 2006


If it's at all possible, never arrange to move the week when your husband has finals for his MBA classes and when he's acting commander because the real commander is on leave. That's a scenario to avoid.

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April 13, 2006


I'm working on a basic sweater right now. I've made this pattern as a pullover, but now I think I'm going to try to convert it into a cardigan. Anyway, here's the beginning of one of the sleeves.


And The Girl wants to learn to do entrelac. I had never done it before, but I remembered seeing this pattern on Knitty. So I made myself a little swatch. Entrelac is actually pretty fun; it's like a knitting puzzle. I couldn't imagine it by just reading, so I grabbed some junk yarn and saw it come together before my own eyes.


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April 12, 2006


There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998

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April 11, 2006


Wanna read some absolutely depressing stuff about immigration?
No easy answers on immigration conundrum

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I was thinking more about that AFN commercial and I found a military compensation calculator that lets you see the equivalent civilian income that relates to the same standard of living you live at in the military. It doesn't work well for overseas because they don't add anything for housing, but try it with the CONUS average and see where you're at. Heck, this is the main reason we're not getting out of the Army anytime soon.

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As we get ready to move back to the US, I have started thinking about our European experience. Lots of people who live here put up photos of the places they've traveled. I started thinking about our collection of travel photos. My husband and I don't travel much, and when we do, we're always alone. We've gotten pretty good at taking our own photo. In fact, when we were in Prague, someone offered to take our photo and we turned him down! We've got quite a running gag going of us in front of foreign stuff. And so I present to you our travel photos.

First of all, us in front of our house, right when we moved here


Then Salzburg






Garmisch for R&R


our cruise


Mulhouse for the Tour de France


and finally Prague


I think it's hilarious that all of our photos end up looking about the same. I love that. I can't wait to add similar photos of us in front of places like Mt. Rushmore, the Redwood forest, and Busch Stadium.

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