AS

Tunisian Crochet Foible

I made a C2C TSS throw from a single sentence I saw somewhere that told me how to start it. It is an application of TSS on the bias. All the rice grains flow the same way and the front is always facing. The feature of C2C is that it is made on the diagonal, growing in length and width simultaneously. No ends to weave in on every row, no need to add triangles; it grows as a straight edge.

I’m gonna have to reverse engineer this piece unless I remember how it starts, or I find that obscure reference.

It’s always something.

Bad Faith · Community · Disaster · Economic Anger · power · trauma

A Small Rant

All these identity politics and word games. Over it. People need to recognize these tactics of division for what they are. We are all human beings and need to come together to recognize the other human beings, hiding behind corporatism and elitism, who view the people as commodities, to be bought and sold. Our primary identities are consumers when viewed from the corporate heights.

We haven’t been workers deserving of respect since the Air Traffic Controllers union was decimated. Workers have been decimated by trade agreements like NAFTA. Workers were sold out, and with the sellout took with it purchasing power. Worker dollars do not buy as much. Now we are unemployed by the pandemic, but our government offers no relief. The corporate elite view us as a failed market. They have no incentives to serve our needs because we have no money. No profit is possible.

The focus is on the vaccines, giving Big Pharma Tech oodles of bucks to create the vaccines and testing kits. There is profit.

ASEAN countries have come up with a trade pact that does not include US. The markets with money are in their countries. Imagine what your quality of life will be like when the pandemic is over and the country continues to produce nothing, has no jobs for the vast majority of the working population, and millions are evicted from their domiciles because they have no money.

Your primary identity is consumer. That identity is nearly dead. All these other divisive categories will be absolutely useless without money. We, the people, are useless to the corporate elites unless they see a way to generate profit. This is a fundamental contradiction of capitalism.

People are worth more locked up than they are idle at home. The idlers create a demand on the system, want support, need shoring up, need relief. If you get locked up, you generate money to keep the system running. You generate money for police, prisons, courts.

You better wake up to who the elite think you are, else we’re doomed.

AS

Calling All Crocheters!

Have you ever made something and then could not remember how you started it? I am having that problem right now with an entrelac blanket, made on the diagonal. This is not corner to corner, but entrelac worked on the bias to eliminate angles and ends. I hate weaving in ends.

I noted the instruction for how to start this type of entrelac or tunisian crochet project in a course I used to own, purchased from orginal Craftsy.com. It was one sentence long and provided the instructions for starting the blanket from the corner and working it diagonally, growing it both length and widthwise.

Now Craftsy went bust and reanimated as Bluprint. There was a whole lot of rigamarole on that site to get you to join, purchase membership. The classes and patterns purchased from original Craftsy could be viewed on this platform without having to purchase membership in Bluprint. Well, Bluprint died and Craftsy has been reanimated except all my courses and patterns have disappeared and no matter what, new Craftsy isn’t giving them back to me. What have we learned? You don’t own anything that is virtual. It can be taken from you in the blink of an eye and you are left missing that one sentence that could end your memory misery so you can start another bias entrelac blanket.

Anybody out there know how to start an entrelac piece to be made on the bias? Usually, entrelac can be started from the center or from a corner, but the corner method requires cutting and changing yarn, creating those pesky ends I detest having to weave in.

Anybody, help me out, please. And stay away from Craftsy.

AS

My House

My house was a 1923 Rambler, hand built by my landlord, Elmer Lambert. Mr. Lambert was married to Ima. They were older people when I met them. The Lamberts were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Mr. Lambert gave me my first nickname, Sputnik, because I orbited him, chattering away about some thing, as he worked about the house. Mrs. Lambert always had a nice piece of fruit for me.

Mr. Lambert had a shop, a workshop, in the back yard. There was a great, thick hardwood worktable, cabinets overhead to the left. A great open space where I suppose he kept some of his tools and machines. It was a good workspace; I could spin in there. I got used to having a high table at which to work because of playing in the workshop after my Mom rented the house from the Lamberts when I was six months old. I found all sorts in the workshop: metals, electrical connections, little lamps that had the word ampere on them. I loved that workshop.

There was room enough in my backyard to have a small garden of collards, chilis, potatoes. I had room for my potter’s wheel, which I retained after I was forced to move into this abandoned structure. We had flower gardens, a loquat tree, a fig tree, and many succulents.

The house was a shotgun house, but classy. Mr. Lambert had built-in shelves in the kitchen, maximizing the interior space of the kitchen. There was one walkway through the house. If the door way was not set opposite to the hallway, you could have shot straight through the house. All doors opened to the left, except for the doorway, which opened right.

The doors opened according to the wall they were on. The bathroom door varied in that it was on the west side of the house, but the door opened to the south. The front entry was on the west and opened to the west. The bedroom door was on the east and opened to the east. The east wall in the kitchen is where the built-ins were installed. From outside the house, the shelves were enclosed in their own cabinetry. They were floor to ceiling, two shelves, three spaces, about 4.5-5 feet wide. There were upper and lower double doors for each cupboard section. We could fit all the china and glassware in those cabinets. The tea and coffee cups had hangers. The lower cupboard was to store cookware, like the electric skillet in which my Mom made fried rice. (Don’t tell Uncle Roger!)

The house was configured square and the house, while only a one-bedroom, was roomy and cozy simultaneously. There was a linen closet behind the bedroom door. In the far corner of the bedroom was Mom’s sewing area. She started with a Singer and ended with a Consew. Mom was an engineer and she had erected shelving around her sewing area, three shelves, four spaces. They were glass shelves, made of the louvre windows she recycled using reinforced nylon tape. On those shelves were the tools of the sample maker’s trade. And the buttons! Oh, I do glory in the buttons Mom left me! I grew up to the singing of her many sewing machines. I almost donated the Consew when I realized I couldn’t set my home up the way it had been before. But Bubbs told me to keep it because he knew how much I associated his grandmother with that machine. I’m glad he did.

I miss my house. I had a back door that I could go out any time I needed fresh air and to be free of observance from the street. Our back yard was always fenced after Mom woke up one morning to find that the nextdoor neighbor’s company was parked in our driveway, inebriated. Ever after that, Mr. Lambert erected an opaque fence of stout wood.

The front yard was lawn, and hedges, and a beautiful Bird of Paradise, that survived the decimation of all our foliage and flora for the hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. The bougainvillea and some of the succulents survived, as well.

One time, there were three people in the kitchen, me, my mom, and The Lord. One of the neighbor’s relatives had an episode and she came to Mom for a cup of coffee and some sweetbread. She didn’t say that was what she wanted. She just knocked at the door and when asked, “Who is it?,” she answered, “The Lord.”

I went and told Mom who was at the door, and she put on her robe and came to see. Opening the door, she invited The Lord to come in and have some coffee. While The Lord supped, Mom called Pluko’s relative, and she came over to get her. The relative had to wait, of course, until The Lord finished her coffee and cake.

My kitchen was the hub of activity. My mom cooked dinners for club meetings of the Progressive Twelve. They were a charity and philanthropic club that met in one member’s home once a month to discuss their work and to eat. I learned about Robert’s Rules of Order, parliamentary procedure, ambrosia, sweet potato pie, and succulent meats of all sorts. I learned about peau d’soir pumps, and Este’e Lauder Youth Dew. Those women were some of the best dressed, best scented women I’ve ever known. They were also the best cooks and hostesses. They were all southern or southwestern women who had a great sense of hospitality. They were all Black women, proud, neat, and humble. They always demonstrated what it meant to be the best.

My house was filled with memories such as these. I miss my house that Mr. Lambert built. I still have a drawer from the workshop table and I have the closet he built for the bedroom. Lucky I did because the contractor who destroyed my home did not bother to put a closet in the room that was supposed to be my bedroom, neither did he finish the floor.

This entire structure is made of the leftovers of other projects. Where I had hardwood flooring throughout the house, there is now laminate, upon which I have slipped and fallen twice. Where I had copper plumbing, there is now plastic. Where I had recessed lighting, there is now a single light within a cheap fan that sits, off-center, in the living room. There are fire sprinklers because they are a requirement in newly built homes. My insurance company did not report to Underwriting that my home was rebuilt. The contractor has never produced the plans needed to rebuild a house. I don’t know how this structure passed final inspection, except Public Works reinspected after I complained for about two years, then they rescinded the Certificate of Occupancy.

So, now I am forced to live in an unventilated, unfinished structure, that lacks proper structure and finishing in the bathroom, what used to be my other favorite room in the house. Two people could fit in there comfortably. There was a bath and a shower. The sink was deep for washing dainties and newly knitted or crocheted garments. It was a room of great intimacy and privacy, where one could bask in steamy comfort, or have a chat while sitting on the pot! My bathroom that Mr. Lambert built was great. I’m afraid to go into the wash closet I now have, fearing the flooring will drop out from under me.

AS

The Approval Addiction

A lot of us wish for our talents, our intelligence, or our strengths to be recognised, appreciated, and known by others. But we very soon start to rely on these approvals and try to ‘alter’ our lives to fit in within these expectations. Unfortunately, right from here starts a very vicious cycle.

Ever since I was younger, I had an insane obsession with ‘making sure people knew’ I was this or I was that. My mood, my emotions, and my feelings were a dangerously direct reflection of what others thought of me. It got to the point where I got excessively dependent on ‘approval’. If people praised me, I would feel empowered. If people criticised me, I would feel anxious. And if people insulted me, I would start to look down on myself.

A common example I often look back at are the times wherein I felt the immense pleasure…

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AS

Have Some People Lost Their Minds?

What was Jeffrey Toobin thinking? Was he thinking? What a disappointment. What an idiot.

Samuel Paty, RIP. What was he thinking? Was he thinking? How could he have believed there would be no consequences for showing mocking cartoons of the Prophet when the writers at Charlie Hebdo were killed? I have tried to justify his actions because I have been an educator. I keep coming back to the notion that he should have been more sensitive to the climate, to the context, to his students. Discuss, yes, but showing those cartoons was antagonistic. What pedagogy supports antagonizing students to teach them about free speech?

There is something wrong with human beings. Desperately wrong. We have stopped thinking. We have stopped putting ourselves in the shoes of others. We are insensitive, intolerant, full of hubris. We are thoughtless. We are caustic.

I can’t justify Paty’s beheading. That was wrong. But he should have known the response to his lesson could be extreme. Why did he not see this? Why couldn’t he anticipate the response?

Graduate school taught me about anticipation. You have to think of the questions you might be asked about your area of expertise. You have to anticipate consequences. You have to, else you will be caught unaware and run the risk of looking like an idiot, like Jeffrey Toobin.

What the hell is wrong with some people? Why have we given up thinking, being rational, being sensible?

What is it going to take for us to get back to being thoughtful human beings? What is it going to take to rid us of this awful arrogance? Is this what decline looks like? Mental, moral decline?

What the hell is wrong with us?

AS

NOTES: CLAIMS ADJUSTER POWER, CONSUMER VULNERABILITY

The success or failure of your claim rides on the integrity of your insurance claims adjuster. He has ultimate power over your claim. He can do whatever he likes with your claim, including restricting who can see your claim file and interact with you, the policyholder.

If you live in California and you have filed either a property or auto claim in the last seven (7) years, you should check that your claims are recorded accurately in the databases that retain your claim history as received from your insurance company Claims department. In California, the databases are Verisk A- Plus and Lexis-Nexis. Of the two, Lexis-Nexis seems to carry more weight.

Verisk Consumer Inquiry Center

1000 Bishops Gate Blvd, Ste 300 PO Box 5404 Mt Laurel, NJ 08054-5404 1-800-709-8842

Lexis-Nexis Consumer Center PO Box 105108 Atlanta GA 30348-5108 1-888-497-0011

What you don’t know can hurt you, and the Department of Insurance will not help you. You will be forced to seek legal assistance to get the situation righted should you discover anything wrong. Why the consumer is required to spend money to prove the company “trusted” to insure your home has committed fraud is absurd. The fact that the Department of Insurance will not help consumers makes them appear complicit.

Beware of Safeco/Liberty Mutual Insurance. Those who have suffered losses in the recent fires should be extremely aware of their vulnerable state where insurance companies are concerned.

AS

Do You Smell That?

Beloved,

Is it only me, or does it seem odd that there is no concern whatsoever for the millions of people attempting to survive this pandemic? Millions face eviction, no matter what the Oval Office Occupier writes up in executive orders or manages the CDC to execute. Millions are hungry. Millions are afraid.

Do you feel that no one really cares?

Democrat, Republican. Same. Elites playing with our lives. None seem trustworthy. Their talk is always about money. Fundraising. From where is all this money coming? Where are the funds for needed protective equipment for our first responders? Why are doctors, nurses, auxiliary medical personnel being fired? Why are hospitals closing? Why aren’t the funds being used to support necessary social services instead of propping up dead weight for an election? Millions are in debt. Surely, they didn’t help raise all this money the parties continually wave in our faces as some sort of sign of success.

Did I hear correctly that the Pentagon misused CARES funds that were supposed to support COVID services?

Where is the support for the drylongso? In the grave, I suspect. Why else are there more than 200,000 dead of COVID and related biological assaults?

I didn’t choose Biden to be the Democrat nominee. I definitely can’t support Harris; I remember her record. Biden was chosen for the voters by the DNC, a private company that can do as it chooses. I remember his record, too. He’s been at this political racket for about 50 years. I never understood why Obama chose him as a running mate. Surely, he was aware of his record.

Liberals, neoliberals, conservatives, ultraconservatives. Labels that mask the basic greed and predatory behavior of elites, all playing the same game: gut the working poor, gut the workers, gut those who are not us.

Corruption stinks. Can you smell it, Beloved? Why is there no relief for those most in need? Why is there no national plan to help us survive COVID with as few casualties as possible? It feels like the “leadership” wants to kill as many voters off as possible. Those that can’t be killed off will have their ability to vote suppressed.

Our futures are being destroyed. The futures of our youngest are being destroyed. The futures of the unborn so many are concerned about are being destroyed. The future of our planet is being destroyed. Corruption by elites is destroying everything.

Corruption and greed is on the air. Can you smell it?

Go well, Beloved. Go as well as you can.

AS

What Every Potential Claim Filer Should Know About Safeco Insurance and Protech Construction’s Vince Paglia

Beloved,

I sit here, sweltering in preparation for 3 days of over 100 degree heat, in an unfinished rectangular coffin, built by Vince Paglia, paid for by Kent Stiles of Safeco Insurance. I’m writing this so that if I perish in this heat, someone will know who caused my death.

This nightmare started in 2016, when I filed a legitimate claim on my homeowner insurance. A tree limb fell on my bedroom, cracking it open at the seams. My bedroom was the only room damaged in the incident, that occurred on Earth Day that year.

It took 19 days for Safeco to respond to my claim. I started with adjuster Trevor Haaswyk, who eventually sent an engineer and adjuster to assess the damage. The engineer’s report stated that there was only damage to my bedroom and that my workshop had suffered superficial damage. The damage could be cleared up with $48,000. Two checks were cut for that amount and I thought the matter concluded.

Then, Kent Stiles took over as my adjuster. He sent Vince Paglia and Nicole Mazandarani to my home to discuss repairs with me. Paglia, president of Protech Construction, was misrepresented as a preferred vendor by Mazandarani. She told me that I would receive best quality service, guarantees of the work, and that the work would be supervised every step of the way. She also lied to me and told me that the contractor I was considering was not to be trusted, that I should use Safeco’s Innovation program for best results. Having never filed a claim like this before, I took her at her word given she represented the insurance company to which I paid premiums for 5 years.

Never trust the claims adjuster. Never. What they don’t tell you is claims adjusters and contractors, in California, engage in a confidential relationship that leaves the consumer completely out of the loop if that is what they want to do. They can engage in all sorts of criminal activity and never need to disclose any of what they are doing to the policy holder. While insurance companies, again in California, are required by law to provide the consumer with a complete copy of their claim file, those documents can be falsified and made to totally disappear from the view of anyone other than the adjuster handling the claim.

It took three years of research to discover that Stiles changed the identifying number of my claim file. Claims are recorded in databases that maintain your history for seven years. If you look for insurance, the companies will search your history in the claim files and charge you accordingly should they find negative information. My damage was caused by high winds that caused the tree limb to break and fall on my house. Stiles reported the damage was caused by water. Water damage will get you charged an arm. leg, and ovary for coverage. Additionally, there were three more claims listed in my history when I had only filed the one.

Stiles, Mazandarani, and Paglia are directly responsible for my living in an unfinished, unsafe property. The entire claims department at Safeco are indirectly responsible because they have been covering up the fraud that has been committed. Also responsible is the Department of Insurance agent, John Mort, and the ombudsman, Therese Gallagher, who also covered for Safeco and told me to go find an attorney to try and prove the fraud.

Consumers should not have to rely on agencies that have been corrupted to report corruption to the State’s Attorney General and District Attorney. These entities will shut the consumer down, relying on the Department of Insurance and the Contractors State License Board to report malfeasance. They will not take the consumer’s word for anything.

In this matter, the CSLB has been the only agency to help somewhat. They were able to force Paglia to pay $20,000, but this payment was based on accepting this structure as appropriately built. This box did pass inspection, but I’m only finding out now that Paglia submitted different plans to Los Angeles County Public Works to get permits for a complete rebuild of my home. Paglia’s name is listed as the owner of my property on the demolition receipts, which were falsified as he stated there was a concrete foundation in existence when there was not. He went on vacation in Croatia after filing thses documents because for some strange reason Public Works does not maintain records of rebuilds of residential property. Those documents are discarded after 6 months, but commercial property building information is retained indefinitely. Paglia knew how things worked, but I didn’t.

I was packed out of my house for 18 months when the original contract I signed said I would be out for only 6. Because only the adjuster handling the claim saw any paperwork regarding my claim, it did no good for me to contact the Department of Insurance to initiate a complaint about how the claim was being handled. I had no idea that Stiles was orchestrating the destruction of my home, and submitted his name as the person to contact about the claim. I thought the field adjuster, Mazandarani, was the one doing crooked things. But it was Stiles. He has the power of the purse. He has the power to cut checks, and he cut big ones for himself and Paglia.

My claim went from $48,000 to $430,000. I never saw the checks cut for Paglia until this year. I never signed them. This exhorbitant cost, larger than the terms of my insurance policy, is listed in my claims history. I have attempted to have all the claims removed, but Stiles is in complete control of my file and none of the over 30 people I have spoken to at Safeco have once taken any notice of what I say is happening to me.

I am certain that mine is not the first time this fraud scheme has been run by Stiles or Paglia. There are too many people involved who have stalled and covered for the insurance company. From Public Works to the Department of Insurance to the Contractors State License Board, people are covering for Safeco and Vince Paglia. Liberty Mutual has thrown an awful lot of money around, so much that there is not an attorney in the state who will take my case. Believe me, Beloved, I have been searching for help for the past three years. No one will help the consumer, not even Merlin Law Firm, specialists in this sort of case.

If you have Safeco Insurance, get rid of it before it is too late. Never have any contractor work performed by Protech Construction, owned by Vincent Paglia.

If I perish in the heat, please, make certain to bring this missive to the attention of Governor Newsom, Mr. Lara, the AG, and the DA. I have contacted all of them over the past year and either received no response or was rebuffed.

Peace, Beloved, and may you never suffer at the hands of agencies you are supposed to trust, agencies that are should have a fiduciary responsibility to you.