31 July 2008

07-31-2008 This day in 1704, Defoe is Pilloried

On 31 July 1704 English novelist Daniel Defoe is made to stand in the pillory as punishment for offending the government and church with his political satire The Shortest Way With Dissenters. To read a short biography about DeFoe go to http://www.online-literature.com/defoe/ . Another interesting biography is athttp://enlightenment-revolution.org/index.php/Defoe,_Daniel . You can go to http://www.bartleby.com/27/12.html and read this literary work. If you are not sure what a pillory is, it is defined as
  • a device formerly used for publicly punishing offenders consisting of a wooden frame with holes in which the head and hands can be locked 2 : a means for exposing one to public scorn or ridicule (From: "pillory." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. Merriam-Webster Online. 31 July 2008 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillory)

29 July 2008

07-29-2008 On This Day 1890: Van Gogh Commits Suicide

This day in 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Van Gogh is well known as a prime example of an expressionistic painter. However, while he was alive he only sold one painting! He suffered from mental illness, probably depression and ultimately this most likely was responsible for his suicide. To read more about him, go to http://cvc.csusb.edu/VincentVanGogh.htm to read a short biography about him. The painting displayed here is a self-portrait done after he cut his ear off.

07-29-2008 Latest slippers I made

I made these slippers from a pattern I found in an old Annie's Pattern Club newsletter. (Number 19, Feb-Mar. 1983 pp 54-55). They were quick and easy but definitely NOT one size for ladies as claimed. These will be put away to give as Christmas present for a "tween" girl. I was able to make the slippers in one sitting while watching a movie with dh. The motifs took another session while watching the news. I will have to adjust this pattern to adapt it for most of the adult ladies I know. Another very nice thing about these slippers is that they take so little yarn that they are a great buster of the left-over yarn stash.

28 July 2008

07-28-2008 History: As American as uhh Well...Potatoes!

On this day in history 1586 Sir Thomas Harriot introduces potatoes to Europe. Many of us have heard of the Irish and potatoes, German potato salad and fish and chips in Great Britain but did you know that potatoes are native to the Americas and not Europe? Go to this link http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PotatoHistory.htm and read a little bit more about this staple in many of our diets.

27 July 2008

07-27-2008 Clothes for Leslie's Doll

Leslie came over Friday night and she brought her doll with her. Leslie usually spends the night on Fridays and I tutor her in math and reading on Saturdays. Anyway, back to the subject of this post, the doll came over with a diaper and t-shirt on and that was it. I couldn't have the poor thing dressed like that no siree! So, I broke out some scrap yarn and proceeded to make her some clothes. I couldn't find a pattern for that size doll so I loosely based the design on a few different baby patterns I found on the Internet. Hope you enjoy the pics...

24 July 2008

07-24-2008 Grammar Hint for Crocheters

Greeting crocheters! When finishing up our beautiful crochet projects, one of the last things we do is weave in the loose ends. I had questions about the past tense of "to weave." It turns out that "to weave" is an irregular verb. This means, you don't necessarily slap a "d" or an "ed" on the end of the word to make it past tense. The correct past tense is "wove" or in the case of past participle "woven" or "wove." The regular imperfect and past participle weaved is not commonly used. I actually broke out the dictionary for this one!

21 July 2008

07-21-2008 Let's Talk About Copyrights

Nowadays, we hear a lot about copyright and what you can and can't do with things you find on the web and elsewhere. "What is copyright?" This is a valid question that you may have asked yourself more than once. OK, according to the official government copyright website article (that I will make reference to throughout this entry {found at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf }) :

  • Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States
    (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including
    literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This
    protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

Now the question is, if I post an original article on my website, do I have to send a payment off to the copyright office in Washington, D.C. to secure ownership of that original article? The answer is no. The above mentionned article also states: "The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action
in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright."

Most web pages that you will visit will have a copyright date posted. This is a nice reminder but not necessary for newer copyrights. "The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U. S. law, although it is often beneficial. Because prior law did contain such a requirement, however, the use of notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works." So you see, as soon as you post an original work on your web page, it is copyrighted although not a registered copyright.

Now we come up the question of the advantages of registering a copywrite. The official copyright website (on this page http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#cr) gives several reasons for registering your work. They are:

  • Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
    Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
  • If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
  • If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

To me, registration of copyright would be desireable on anything that was financially beneficial to the holder. The photo albums some folks post of their cats are cute, but normally they wouldn't need to register a copyright on them unless the owner wanted to publish the photos in a book or calendar of cats. I think you get the idea of what I'm talking about.

Does that mean that because something has a copyright (registered or not) that you can not use it? Nope, not at all. Fair use is the phrase used to basically give limited permission to use copyrighted material (from http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html);

Section 107 of the Copyright Act contains: list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Some of this is common sense. If you are going to buy a crochet pattern to make a stuffed animal of let's say a Care Bear then you may not crochet these bears and sell them nor may you post the pattern on the Web. You may however, make them to your hearts delight and pass them out as gifts to every child you may know or even not know. You may NOT gain financially from your use of this pattern.

Now let's say, you have designed your own teddy bear pattern. You are confused about how to embroider the facial features on your original creaton so you look at the Care Bear pattern you have. You like the way the nose is embroidered on these creations (I really don't know if the nose is embroidered or a pompom is used, this is just an example) and decide to use the method of nose embroidery from the Care Bear pattern. Is this a copyright violation? Probably not because the "nose" is a very small part of the pattern and is not a "substantial" part of it. If you have any questions, your best bet is to consult with the copyright holder.

Another example of fair use of copyrighted material is when I was in college, the instructor a time or 2 copied a few pages out of a text book that the students didn't have. Because these pages were a small portion of a much larger work and were used for educational purposes, fair use came into play.

You are probably asking yourself why I am writing about this. The answer is simple. I am tired of "witch hunts" and censorship on the Internet in regards to this issue. There are forums blocking websites because of "suspicions." There is "fair use" authorized of copyrighted materials and the exclusion of this is harmful not only to the browser but also to the copyright holder who loses potential future financial gains by the lack of exposure to the public.

Source: Library of Congress. "Copyright United States Copyright Office." Available from http://www.copyright.gov/. Internet; accessed 21 Jul 2008.

17 July 2008

07-17-2008 Crochet Portraits!

I am posting this to let you visit this fantastic web site where crochet artists have created beautiful portraits in crochet! For some reason this link was "blocked" by crochetville so I am posting it here for your enjoyment! http://www.crochetbynumbers.com/ .

15 July 2008

07-15-2008 On This Date in 1149 Holy Sepulchre Dedicated

On this day, 15 July 1149: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is dedicated at the site where Jesus is said to have been entombed after his crucifixion. The online Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent, has an article that might interest you. It is located at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07425a.htm .

14 July 2008

07-14-2008 #2 Another rr for Baby

I finished this rr baby afghan this morning. It is for a very good friend's soon-to-be-born granddaughter. I had 7 baby afghans to make this year and I only have 1 more to go! I'm thinking about doing a graphghan. I'm pretty stuck on these round ripples so we'll see what I ended up making. Anyway, I have to launder this one and pack it for shipping and drop it in the mail when the little one makes her appearance. I hope they like it.

07-14-2008 My Goofy Little Opi

Recently, Opi has been having problems with dermatitis. He has been cranky and we've been trying all sorts of recommended treatments to soothe it and calm him down. The other day, he stood in front of our chimenea just yapping his little head off. My MIL picked him up and put him inside of it. Opi loved it! It was full of old ashes and sand but Opi didn't care. He just laid down and relaxed. What a goofy little fur baby!

10 July 2008

07-10-2008 A Finished Round Ripple Afghan

I finished this round ripple afghan earlier this year. I'm very proud of it! It was the first one I did. Originally, I didn't post pictures of it because I was going to enter it in the fair. Well, I didn't so I decided to go ahead and post pictures for you to see it. I made it out of double strands of ww yarn in 3 shades of purple. I started out with 2 strands of the dark, then 1 strand of dark and medium, then 2 strands of medium, l strand of medium and light and then 2 strands of light. One of the great things about this afghan is that I found 2 of the colors at a thrift store! It is a couple inches shorter than 6' across.

08 July 2008

07--08-2008 Porch Update

I just realized that I never put pictures here of my beautiful front porch that is FINISHED! It was built by dh and a friend of his. Painting had to wait for the treated wood to dry--hence the delay between being built last summer and painting this spring. Without further ado, here's the pictures.

07-08-2008 This day in 1932-- Dow Jones

On July 8, 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest point during the Great Depression. The Dow Jones was originally founded in 1882 by Charles Henry Dow, Edward Davis Jones and Charles Milford Bergstresser. They operated out of a small basement office on Wall Street. In those days, the company produced a daily hand-written news bulletin delivered by messengers to subscribers in the Wall Street area. In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was founded by their company. If you go to http://www.dowjones.com/TheCompany/AboutDowJones.htm you can read more about the history of the Dow Jones. Enjoy!

06 July 2008

07-06-2008 Spiderman RR Baby Blanket FINISHED!

I finished the Spiderman rr baby blanket this morning. It is for my niece's baby boy due in November. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. As I usually do, the blanket is a little over-sized so that when the little one is toddling around, he can still use it. I just need to wash it and send it. I'll mail it off as soon as the little one is born. Write me and let me know what you think!
I've picked up the dog sweater that's been giving me H--L and once again, I'm already ready to toss it! I wrote a quick posting on crochetville and maybe one of the kind people there will have a suggestion or two for me. Has anyone made the sweater found here http://www.bernat.com/pattern.php?PID=194 ?
Maybe I should buy a cute sweater and make an afghan out of the yarn I have. Hmmmm, that's an idea lol!

05 July 2008

07-05-2008 Hints for crochet and money-saving

I was looking at crochet patterns for reusable covers for my swiffer dust mop. This site http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-swiffer-cloths/ has a list of 15 different patterns (not all are crochet though) for you to make covers for yours. One person who wrote in had a great suggestion--take previously used dryer sheets and hook onto swiffer and dust away! That's a double use for these sheets. I just had to share this with y'all while I was thinking about it.

03 July 2008

07-03-2008 A Round Ripple for Spiderman! A WIP

Hey There--As I get frustrated with the dog
sweater I am making, I pick up another project to work on. Currently, I am working on a round ripple afghan (child size) for my niece's baby boy due in November. I have numerous more rounds to do plus add the webbing that radiates from the center and finally the dreaded weaving in of the loose ends! I'm really proud of it so far. Wish me luck when I get back on the dog sweater after this! Hope you enjoy the pictures...Hugs, Sharon

02 July 2008

07-02-2008 Civil Rights Protection enacted on this date in 1964

On this day in history, July 2, 1964-- President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law. The following is the announcement the President made just prior to this signing--

My fellow Americans:
I am about to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of
1964. I want to take this occasion to talk to you about what that law means
every American.
One hundred and eighty-eight years ago this week a
small band
of valiant men began a long struggle for freedom. They pledged
their lives,
their fortunes, and their sacred honor not only to found a
nation, but to forge
an ideal of freedom--not only for political
independence, but for personal
liberty--not only to eliminate foreign rule,
but to establish the rule of
justice in the affairs of men.
That struggle
was a turning point in our
history. Today in far corners of distant
continents, the ideals of those
American patriots still shape the struggles
of men who hunger for
This is a proud triumph. Yet those who
founded our country knew that
freedom would be secure only if each
generation fought to renew and enlarge its
meaning. From the minutemen at
Concord to the soldiers in Viet-Nam, each
generation has been equal to that
Americans of every race and color
have died in battle to protect
our freedom. Americans of every race and color
have worked to build a nation
of widening opportunities. Now our generation of
Americans has been called
on to continue the unending search for justice within
our own borders.
believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are
denied equal
We believe that all men have certain unalienable
rights. Yet
many Americans do not enjoy those rights.
We believe that all men
entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of
those blessings--not because of their own failures, but because of the color
their skin.
The reasons are deeply imbedded in history and tradition
and the
nature of man. We can understand--without rancor or hatred--how this
But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of
Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality
it. And the law I will sign tonight forbids it.
That law is the
product of
months of the most careful debate and discussion. It was proposed
more than one
year ago by our late and beloved President John F. Kennedy. It
received the
bipartisan support of more than two-thirds of the Members of
both the House and
the Senate. An overwhelming majority of Republicans as
well as Democrats voted
for it.
It has received the thoughtful support of
tens of thousands of civic
and religious leaders in all parts of this
Nation. And it is supported by the
great majority of the American
The purpose of the law is
It does not restrict the
freedom of any American, so long as he
respects the rights of others.
does not give special treatment to any
It does say the only
limit to a man's hope for happiness, and for
the future of his children,
shall be his own ability.
It does say that there
are those who are equal
before God shall now also be equal in the polling
booths, in the classrooms,
in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie
theaters, and other
places that provide service to the public.
I am taking
steps to implement
the law under my constitutional obligation to "take care that
the laws are
faithfully executed."
First, I will send to the Senate my
nomination of
LeRoy Collins to be Director of the Community Relations Service.
Collins will bring the experience of a long career of distinguished
service to the task of helping communities solve problems of human
through reason and commonsense.
Second, I shall appoint an advisory
committee of distinguished Americans to assist Governor Collins in his
Third, I am sending Congress a request for supplemental
appropriations to pay for necessary costs of implementing the law, and
for immediate action.
Fourth, already today in a meeting of my
Cabinet this
afternoon I directed the agencies of this Government to fully
discharge the new
responsibilities imposed upon them by the law and to do it
without delay, and to
keep me personally informed of their
Fifth, I am asking appropriate
officials to meet with
representative groups to promote greater understanding of
the law and to
achieve a spirit of compliance.
We must not approach the
observance and
enforcement of this law in a vengeful spirit. Its purpose is not
to punish.
Its purpose is not to divide, but to end divisions--divisions which
have all
lasted too long. Its purpose is national, not regional.
Its purpose
is to
promote a more abiding commitment to freedom, a more constant pursuit of
justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity.
We will achieve these
because most Americans are law-abiding citizens who want to do what is
This is why the Civil Rights Act relies first on voluntary
then on the efforts of local communities and States to secure
the rights of
citizens. It provides for the national authority to step in
only when others
cannot or will not do the job.
This Civil Rights Act is
a challenge to all of
us to go to work in our communities and our States, in
our homes and in our
hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in
our beloved
So tonight I urge every public official, every
religious leader,
every business and professional man, every workingman,
every housewife--I urge
every American--to join in this effort to bring
justice and hope to all our
people--and to bring peace to our land.
fellow citizens, we have come now
to a time of testing. We must not
Let us close the springs of racial
poison. Let us pray for wise and
understanding hearts. Let us lay aside
irrelevant differences and make our
Nation whole. Let us hasten that day when
our unmeasured strength and our
unbounded spirit will be free to do the great
works ordained for this Nation
by the just and wise God who is the Father of us
Thank you and good

You can go to this page on about.com and read the text of this act http://uspolitics.about.com/od/usgovernment/a/civilRights_act.htm .

I was a child of 7 when this act was signed into legislation. My memories of the 60s are those of turbulence and violence. I was fortunate not to live in the cities where violence seemed to flourish; I can't help thinking of how devastating it must have been for small children who did live directly in the path of violence. We have come a long way but we still need to work together to strive for equality for all.


Lydon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. "President Lyndon B. Johnson's Radio and Television Remarks Upon Signing the Civil Rights Bill July 2, 1964." Available from http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/speeches.hom/640702.asp. Internet; accessed 02 July 2008.

Gill, Kathy. "US Civil Rights Act - 1964 Public Law 88-352." Available from http://uspolitics.about.com/od/usgovernment/a/civilRights_act.htm. Internet; accessed 02 July 2008.

01 July 2008

07-01-2008 Money Saving Tip for Backyard Ponds

We have a wonderful pond in our backyard that we have really tried to economize on. We recycled materials from a friend who no longer wanted her pond. I really like ponds with koi in them but the cost for one is rather prohibitive. What I did was go to a local pet store and bought "feeder" fish and put them in our pond. These fish were designated to be dinner for other animals but here, they have been given a pardon and are flourishing! Oh yeah, and I paid $1 for 8 a couple years ago.