Hurrah, Barb wins!

Barb Wins!!!

Yaaaaay! The Inquirer’s blogger on the scene just reported that the count of absentee ballots was finally completed — and that put Barb 23 votes in the lead. Since there are less than 23 contested ballots, that means that she’s reporting to Harrisburg at 10AM on Monday. It also means that Democrats now control the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Here’s some more from the Inquirer.

There will likely be some teasing of Shannon Royer, who has been setting up his office in Harrisburg and had gone as far as ordering stationery, all before the ballots were counted. I don’t blame him; of course he would have tried to make a bid for legitimacy, but it will be embarassing now that he has to box up his letterhead and go back home.

Only a total jerk would kick the man while he’s down.

Hurrah, Barb wins!

Real knitters don’t have trouble getting off the block, do they?

So I’m all ready to go on this baby sweater project, but I have:

  1. no pattern
  2. no needles
  3. no yarn

I know Kate will probably hook me up with the needles, though I’d prefer to buy my own so I don’t have to worry about bending them with my feverish grasp. And actually, I seem to vaguely remember the pattern that she and I picked. It was sort of…. sweater-shaped, with two long thingies coming out the sides, into which the baby’s arms are inserted. And a bit of a hole at the top, through which the baby’s head is passed. Devilishly clever.

Anyhow, I have seen Kate finish a ten-month-project, and use the SAME SENTENCE to announce it complete and begin the next one: “yay, that’s done, it’ll give me time to start the next…” So the fact that I have announced a sweater project but do not yet possess the materials marks me as an utter n00b.

To hide my cluelessness, perhaps I will just push through the swinging batwing doors at Wool Gathering and announce in a loud voice “Give me a thousand yards of your finest yarn! And give me the same amount of your second finest, so that I can knit a bag to take your finest yarn home in!” That should cover my tracks.

Real knitters don’t have trouble getting off the block, do they?

Gardening! Motorcycles! Knitting! Baphomet!

I’ve been really busy at work, Lydia is getting adjusted to her new play school, and I’ve totally fallen off the wagon with my “getting ready for the Portland Marathon” program, because now my Amtrak train leaves Exton at 6:11 AM, and that doesn’t really leave any time for working out before I have to get on the train. At least I’ll try to get back on the “don’t eat large amounts of food” part of the program; luckily for me, my sister broke her ankle while training, and so I have a little bit of leeway to catch up to her now. Phew! Thank goodness for that aggravating and painful injury. I owe you one, sis!

Honey, why do the beans spell Baphomet?
Kate and I marked out and staked down some planters’ paper mulch in the back yard. Which, now that there’s four five-foot by five-foot squares of black paper staked down on the grass, I will switch to calling “the garden.” Next, we put two inches of compost on all four squares. By spring, this will have killed the turf, and all we’ll have to do is dig (goes the theory). We have exactly 100 square feet of garden, which makes the math fairly easy in determining that we need approximately EIGHT THOUSAND POUNDS of compost. Actually, it’s two-thirds of a cubic yard, or 666 pounds of manure. I have to be careful; if you carefully spread 666 pounds of shit in the right pattern, Very Bad Things probably happen. Fortunately, our garden is not laid out in a pentacle.

2006 Turkey Pro National
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Bob hosted the 21st annual running of the Turkey Pro National motorcycle rally yesterday. My sidecar rig has developed electrical problems, so I drove up with Kate, Barb, and Lydia in a silver Honda accord. Kate knitted me a pair of incredibly awesome red cabled socks to wear under my big ol’ Red Wing motorcycle boots, too, so it was especially disappointing to not ride the sidecar — on an old, black, and greasy bike, with new, handmade, blazing red scratchy socks, I would have been approaching a new level of “I’m coming over to eat your caviar and kick your ass” Cossack cool. Oh well.

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We arrived after the slow race had been run, and even after the trophy presentation (nuts!), but I still took a bunch of pictures, which you can see here. Or to read the full skinny on the Turkey Pro, you can read my 2001 writeup here. This has got to be the most mellow, diverse, and welcoming rally ever — when you mention that your bike isn’t running, murmurs of sympathy ripple through the crowd, and various people go and fetch North America’s pre-eminent experts on exactly your problem. They stand there with their hands in their pockets, listening attentively to exactly how the headlight relay makes that funny “BRRnnnn click” sound, and then they give you their motorcycle-garage card WITH ALL THE CORPORATE INFO CROSSED OUT to make it clear that this one is a personal favor, and they suggest some next steps to help. I swear to God, with this kind of support network, we could all be rocket scientists or neurosurgeons. Of course, most of the people there are rocket scientists or neurosurgeons, come to think of it.

I’m knitting a damn sweater!
My friend Michelle Stern is due in just a few weeks, and I have sworn a dark and bloody oath that I will knit a baby sweater for the new arrival. I have never knit before. But, as the husband of a badass knitter, I should know something about knitting besides just parroting the lingo. Plus (and more importantly), it’s going to be an awesome sweater for an awesome baby of a really good friend. So I’ve been checking the Alice Starmore patterns for a nice tiny aran in a twelve-color intarsia HA HA HA THAT WAS A KNITTING JOKE. SEE? NOW I’M A KNIT BLOGGER! I will be sure to post my progress.

Gardening! Motorcycles! Knitting! Baphomet!

Oh, for crying out loud!

Kate, Lydia and I spent some time yesterday evening at her mom’s campaign headquarters — I made some “get out the vote” phone calls, and Lydia ran around and gathered balloons. When we went to bed, the news seemed good, both quantitative (Barb about 500 votes ahead with 92% of precincts reporting) and anecdotal (the departing incumbent had been showing up at polling places, screaming and poking greeters with her cane, which seemed to betoken an imminent Dramatic Boss Vanquishment cutscene, like when Mario catches the final star and Bowzer explodes in rage.)

However, here are the final (though unofficial) results from Chester County‘s state senate race between Barb and her opponent, Republican lackwit Shannon Royer*:

I’m hoping that this is still a “too close to call” type of situation. And I want to know who those 37 write-in votes are for! If it’s Nader, I’m gonna be pissed.

* Not all lackwits are Republicans, of course; this one just happens to be. Viz. Shannon’s gratuitous use of Flash buttons urging people to download the latest version of Internet Explorer. Or the way that he used political connections to cover up a drunk-driving accident in 1994. Each are pretty much equally damaging in my eyes.

Update: It turns out that this seat is the one that determines whether the PA House of Representatives will be controlled by Democrats or Republicans. I would imagine that there will be a recount called for; everyone’s on conference calls. It’s gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight!

Update 2: Well, this story is starting to gain momentum. Here’s a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the state majority hanging in the balance. Driving to the train station this morning, I heard the story on the radio, too. I’ve also realized that the word “recount” is misleading — with the results still unofficial, and with about 250 absentee ballots uncounted, we’re all just waiting on the results of the first count. So it’s anybody’s race.

Update 3 The Philadelphia Inquirer continues to follow up on this story, and has even sent their political reporter out to West Chester to blog about the process. Good on ya, Inquirer!

Oh, for crying out loud!