Friday, May 29, 2009

When the Crazies Came to Town....

So I've seen them, across a wide divide. The Crazy People (of the Westboro Baptist Church) decided to protest in front of East Providence High School, because EPHS has a gay straight student alliance like many high schools. Unfortunately, my camera is not much better than my eyes, so that though I knew I was witnessing walking fruitcakes of hate, they remained oddly undefined caricatures in the drippy day. Its very sad, but they had a child of about 11 with them, carrying a hate filled sign.

For those that are unfamiliar with the WBC, they are from Topeka, Kansas, and run around the country protesting at schools and soldiers funerals. They were going to protest at the Holocaust museum here in town after leaving the HS. They carry signs like "God hates fags" and "Antichrist Obama." I participated in the counter protest with about 6 other members of the Rhode Island Atheist Society. The signs of the counter protest said "Teach Love not Hate," "WBC needs a hug," "Our Big Signs are Better" "We Support East Providence Students" and "LOL," among others. There were 5 to 8 WBC and maybe 80-100 counter protesters, and lots of cops. The WBC is reported to make money to fund their operations by instigating violence, then suing. They sure didn't get a fight from us!

I think their ability to incite an anger response has gone down. Maybe they still are able to do it at funerals. I don't understand the psychology of people like that. I showed up to support the students and also, I don't get angry quick so thought I might be able to help out there. But no one was angry. The students had a great time! lol. Below are a few pics, starting with one of the WBC.

The rest of the pictures are of the counter protesters...

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Uses for Spare Pennies

Well. There seems to be a penny invasion going on in my workroom. This pendant is a horseshoe/star thing I made (carved out of wax then cast into sterling silver) some time ago. It didn't turn out... but sometimes you finish stuff up then use the rejects as a starting point for new stuff. (The next thing I made was the Good Luck pendant.) The rejects hang around like the orphans they are... and with this particular one I just soldered on a jump ring to a penny and joined the two.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lucky and the Not So Lucky

*Here I must interject. I root for the rookies of the nfl. Its my love of the happy endings interfering with my desire to win, I guess. But, you know how when you're sitting in a high school gym watching some honor ceremony of some sort. You hope that even the girl wearing dark colored long sleeves and long pants in 80 degree temps succeeds. You want everyone to make it.

*But this year I'm tying to ignore the rookie stories. When I heard Tyrone McKenzie injured his ACL in the second day of the Patriots rookie camp... I attempted to be oblivious. But poor guy! Half those rookies at the very least won't make the team. Maybe only 2 or 3 will. And I really want the long snapper from Hawaii to succeed.... as well as everyone else! And to win. Go Pats!

So back to jewelry and my change road rescue. lol. I know the copper content of pennies has lessened over the years. I know the present coin doesn't have much copper. But I thought using easy silver solder was low key enough for a 1985 penny. Apparently not! That poor penny lost it on the ditch of my learning curve. There was way too much tin in the penny. 1983 is the magical date. Now I have to decipher the freaking date on those poor pulverized coins. The next rescue coin I picked on was a 1972 coin. That coin hung in there. The first picture is of the accidental euthanasia of last night. (White metal goes quick when it goes!)

These other 2 are of my first finished Lucky Penny Ring, 1972. *The coins are coins I find while out walking.*

Monday, May 18, 2009

Irresistible Strays

This poor fellow.... I should have adopted him. Taken him home, cleaned him up and welcomed him to my kitchen.

I don't know why, whether it is living in a city or the specific location. But strays do show up here. Its a problem. My feeling about strays is, if you feed them you accept responsibility. And while I'd love to re-home all the strays, my personal economy is in need of a bailout. There is an orange tabby cat hanging around, keeping my birdbath empty, that really needs a good brushing. Poor kitty. I'd stake my toilet paper money that he had a home once.

I have 2 cats. One is a society lady, *rescue that is,* Ms Bird who loves the camera. Ms Chubbs was a bird chaser, out of my yard, always in desperate search of the meals that would bring her to her present voluptuous form.

This stray I found a couple of blocks away. Now while I do engage in change road rescue (and am making a lucky penny ring for their final home) and kitty rescue I find challenging (no rescue place will take in strays) I haven't yet done porcelain rescue. Given the face on this fellow, perhaps I should start!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nice Surprises

My birthday is May first. I've always enjoyed having a May day birthday.... in grade school we drew flowers for May day. Most of the time I don't tell people when my birthday is because, well... *dunno.* This year my birthday happily coincided with a bike ride in NYC with my mother and brother.

Last week I paused to admire some flowers of mine near my back door, and noticed a package. In it was this wonderful surprise from Kim. The pitcher is very attractive, and I was hoping for a good shot of it! But its tough to convey how nice the shape is, even with Ms Bird's assistance. Also in the package was a loufah sponge and a note saying this was from her "garden." And yes, I spent one long moment imagining the plant a loufah sponge would come from. *She meant the ocean. doh!*

lol. a postscript from Kim: "But I have to tell you something - loufahs are from the garden. They are a type of squash. You can eat them when they are young, but if you leave them on the plant until they get big and let them dry out, they can be made into sponges. After the skin is completely dry, you peel it off and shake out the seeds."

Isn't that funny. *goes back to imagining the plant a loufah would grow on!*

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cold Wet Fun

It was fun, I think, or my brain is still suffering from hypothermia and thus impaired. I went on the 5 boroughs bike tour through NYC this weekend with my mother and brother and thousands of other fools. They had a tandem recumbent Bike E, I had a single recumbent Bike E. This is important. As, with the first pit stop (one of many. I think my brother was a covert evaluator of porta potties. Dunno. He never admitted to such a mission. I am merely conjecturing on evidence. We stopped everywhere.) Anyway, after the first pit stop, we noticed a break in the wheel well of the rear tire of their tandem bike. They checked it out because a clicking noise was heard while riding. The noise was was a strip of aluminum peeling up and hitting the brake.

Half way through the ride, a noticable bulge had appeared in the side of the tire, and the crack had widened significantly.

This is a *Yikes* moment. Last summer my rear wheel blew out, probably from such a cause. And, what happens is the rear tire freezes. I left skid marks when mine blew. But with a tandem, in heavy bike traffic, with my mother admiring the scenery while commenting on societal shortcomings ... yikes. We were half way through a 42 mile ride and taking public transit with a couple of recumbents would be a mess.... and, well, I do not think I am of the first generation of finger crossers. With 2 generations of the same family represented, I'd say maybe enough fingers were crossed. We kept riding and the tire survived....

I almost didn't. I don't know exactly when complete cold wetness was achieved with the one small island of almost dry on the top of my head... I think about the same time as the tandem tire became a combo physics and astrological experiment. I just know that by the end of the ride, though we did take a shortcut (due, *ahem,* to the tire concerns) I could have wrung out my clothes had my fingers been functioning properly.

Here's 2 pics, one of my mother and brother, before the start, still dry and enjoying breakfast. The last pic is of yours truely, truely all wet.