Friday, August 17, 2007

Where Is Defense of Marriage When you Need It?


The experts in this administration are blaming the incredibly high (and growing) number of suicides among our military on "Dear John/Jane" letters from home.

Can We Blame This On The Gays?
Increasing the deployment time for our soldiers from 12 months to 15 months has put an incredible strain on the men and woman who defend our country, as well as their families. It wasn't bad enough that we send them into a war that has no foreseeable end, and just the simple act of driving a supply vehicle can be terrifying. But then, to meet their recruiting goals, they lower the standards of what it takes to be a soldier. And then, they tell them each deployment is now 3 months longer away from home. Have you ever had to travel for business over 3 weeks? Consider what 15 months must be like.

This dizzying array of stresses brings clear pictures of the lunatic from "Full Metal Jacket" into my mind.



Seems kind of ingenuous now that they wanted to blame the divorce rate on the gays when talk of a constitutional amendment was being considered.

Current Knitting
I've been able to finish the front of the Aran pullover.



I'm a little concerned with the size of the neck opening. I may have to go back and make it a little bigger, but I'll know whether it's necessary relatively quickly, and making the change won't take all that much re-work.

Current Reading
Over vacation, I got tired of my current book, and picked up my Sister-Out-Of-Law's book that she had to read for her book club.



This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes isn't something I would have ever continued reading if I felt I had something else better hanging around. The beginning of the book starts with some sophomoric sounding metaphors, and I didn't hold out much hope for this book. But, it was vacation, and I figured, "what the hell." The story and the characters became more and more intriguing, and by the time I got halfway into the book, I was finding myself enjoying it. That same level of enjoyment continued through to the end. If you're looking for modern literature, this book is a far cry. If you're looking for an enjoyable read, I'd recommend this book, especially at the low-low price of US$5 right now on Amazon.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the button hole tips in my last post, Evelyn writes, "Nice explanation with great visuals. I'm not sure whether I like the looser look or the somewhat puckery look of the second version, but you give us plenty of information to make our own choice."

My photography makes it very difficult to show the difference in button holes, but I do highly recommend trying out a few different types of button holes before settling on whatever the pattern calls for.

Both Charlotte and Marilyn mentioned Barbara Walkers "one-row button hole" as an easy alternative button hole.

First of all, the button hole instructions are in Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and it's buried with hardly any reference on page 354, in case anyone wants to find it. Googling for instructions is much easier. Second of all, this button hole does a good job of eliminating the sloppy side stitches, and using a cable cast-on is a very neat way to add back stitches. It doesn't eliminate the lip on the lower edge, and it also can distort the stitches on either side of the button hole.

If you do the one-row button hole from the reverse side, it severely reduces the lip at the bottom. Maggie Righetti also published a one-row button hole that I found during my investigatioins that seems to incorporate all the best. Here's an on-line version of it.

10 comments:

Carol said...

Hmm, couldn't be the psychic toll of being away from home, stationed in a hellhole, with constant fear of death, inadequate body armor, unprotected vehicles, no real plan or end in sight, post-traumatic stress from seeing your friends and innocent bystanders literally blown to pieces, post-traumatic stress, inadequate mental health resources, the dilemma of seeking help from a military that prizes toughness and despises perceived weakness, that tries to gets its members to sign away their right to mental health care by saying it was "pre existing mental health issues", residual sexism/homophobia/racism in the military, or the fact that the military is probably pissed off that their work and sacrifices are being wasted on an unnecessary and deceptively-embarked upon war...

Naw, it's the Dear John/Jane letters.

Carol said...

Did I mention post-traumatic stress?

Carol said...

Oh yeah, also the fact that more soldiers survive combat than ever before, thus having godawful memories and godawful injuries that they will carry the rest of their lives, but who probably wouldn't have survived prior wars due to the improvements in trauma/battlefield medicine so now they live long enough to want to kill themselves anyway.

I mean, Dear John/Jane letters.

Mel said...

And one of the main sponsors of the marriage amendment thing is my colleague, Sen. Wayne Allard, DVM. He's a disgrace.

Lizzy said...

I live in the UK and my husband was once in the regular army - I wouldn't be an army wife for all the tea in China these days!!!!

Andy's Crafts said...

The cabling is looking fantastic! You are so talented, I am getting nspiration for my next sweater. I am watching how it actually looks very relaxed laying flat. Thanls for sharing.

Dogged Knitter said...

What's this about gays causing (insert chain of specious reasoning) increased suicides in the military?

And thanks for the buttonholes.

Dogged Knitter is just popping in from the shack at the lake... I mean - from Paradise.

Carol said...

Dogged Knitter is like Bob Dole: refers to him/herself in the third person...

Cal said...

"Seems kind of ingenuous now that they wanted to blame the divorce rate on the gays when talk of a constitutional amendment was being considered."

Ok,, I've been mulling that one for the past 24 hours and I still can't come up with anything but WHAT? and HOW? complete with blank looks and a creaking brain.

Someone put me out of my misery and explain the 'logic'?

marie in florida said...

i put some traditional queen anne's lace crochet on Ravelry last week. beautiful stuff.