February 2008


Mono colour Dressing

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 1:23 pm

Thanks to Dressaday.com I was sent the link to an article profiling people who only wore one colour http://nymag.com/fashion/08/spring/44210/

i.e. people who wear blue all day, everyday.


They certainly make Christmas shopping easy! 

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Castro Resigns

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 2:02 pm

Message from the Commander in Chief

Dear compatriots:

Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.

The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary.

For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, direct and secret vote of over 95% of the people with the right to cast a vote. The first National Assembly was established on December 2nd that same year; this elected the State Council and its presidency. Before that, I had been a Prime Minister for almost 18 years. I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31, 2006, to the position of President of the State Council, which I left to First Vice-President Raul Castro Ruz, was final. But Raul, who is also minister of the Armed Forces on account of his own personal merits, and the other comrades of the Party and State leadership were unwilling to consider me out of public life despite my unstable health condition.

It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-à-vis an adversary which had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply.

Later, in my necessary retreat, I was able to recover the full command of my mind as well as the possibility for much reading and meditation. I had enough physical strength to write for many hours, which I shared with the corresponding rehabilitation and recovery programs. Basic common sense indicated that such activity was within my reach. On the other hand, when referring to my health I was extremely careful to avoid raising expectations since I felt that an adverse ending would bring traumatic news to our people in the midst of the battle. Thus, my first duty was to prepare our people both politically and psychologically for my absence after so many years of struggle. I kept saying that my recovery “was not without risks.”

My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That’s all I can offer.

To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief.

In short letters addressed to Randy Alonso, Director of the Round Table National TV Program, –letters which at my request were made public– I discreetly introduced elements of this message I am writing today, when not even the addressee of such letters was aware of my intention. I trusted Randy, whom I knew very well from his days as a student of Journalism. In those days I met almost on a weekly basis with the main representatives of the University students from the provinces at the library of the large house in Kohly where they lived. Today, the entire country is an immense University.

Following are some paragraphs chosen from the letter addressed to Randy on December 17, 2007:

“I strongly believe that the answers to the current problems facing Cuban society, which has, as an average, a twelfth grade of education, almost a million university graduates, and a real possibility for all its citizens to become educated without their being in any way discriminated against, require more variables for each concrete problem than those contained in a chess game. We cannot ignore one single detail; this is not an easy path to take, if the intelligence of a human being in a revolutionary society is to prevail over instinct.

“My elemental duty is not to cling to positions, much less to stand in the way of younger persons, but rather to contribute my own experience and ideas whose modest value comes from the exceptional era that I had the privilege of living in.

“Like Niemeyer, I believe that one has to be consistent right up to the end.”

Letter from January 8, 2008:

“…I am a firm supporter of the united vote (a principle that preserves the unknown merits), which allowed us to avoid the tendency to copy what came to us from countries of the former socialist bloc, including the portrait of the one candidate, as singular as his solidarity towards Cuba. I deeply respect that first attempt at building socialism, thanks to which we were able to continue along the path we had chosen.”

And I reiterated in that letter that “…I never forget that ‘all of the world’s glory fits in a kernel of corn.”

Therefore, it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.

Fortunately, our Revolution can still count on cadres from the old guard and others who were very young in the early stages of the process. Some were very young, almost children, when they joined the fight on the mountains and later they have given glory to the country with their heroic performance and their internationalist missions. They have the authority and the experience to guarantee the replacement. There is also the intermediate generation which learned together with us the basics of the complex and almost unattainable art of organizing and leading a revolution.

The path will always be difficult and require from everyone’s intelligent effort. I distrust the seemingly easy path of apologetics or its antithesis the self-flagellation. We should always be prepared for the worst variable. The principle of being as prudent in success as steady in adversity cannot be forgotten. The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong; however, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.

This is not my farewell to you. My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of ‘Reflections by comrade Fidel.’ It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be careful.



Fidel Castro Ruz

February 18, 2008

5:30 p.m.

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a continuation of the cat cartoon

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 7:41 pm


1 comment


Notes from the Universe

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 5:27 pm

Today I found out about an email service that emails you Thoughts from the universe every morning. As a former Flybaby, who used to receive orgnizational notes 3 times a day, I appreciate the scaled back version of these notes.

These inspirational, philosophical and often humorous notes
are meant to remind you of the awesome power you possess for
the creative manipulation of “all things time and space” –
especially your happiness!

the Oath :

the face of adversity, uncertainty and conflicting sensory
information,  I hereby pledge to remain ever mindful of the magical, infinite,
loving reality  in which I live. A reality that conspires tirelessly in my favor.”

“I further recognize, that living within space and time, as a Creation
amongst my Creations, is the ultimate Adventure, because thoughts
become things, dreams come true, and all things remain forever
“As a Being of Light, I hereby resolve to live, love and be happy, at
all costs, no matter what, with reverence and kindness for All. So mote it be!””



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Learning to sew – things to learn

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 12:50 pm

Today I am posting learning to sew tips from people who know it. Who have been there and done that.

From Dressaday.com:

  • Cutting is five times as important as construction. Honestly. Once you’ve cut the pattern, your track is chosen. It’s much harder to recover from a cutting error than a sewing error. If you take your time on the cutting out, you will never regret it. Don’t cut out patterns when you’re tired, angry, or distracted (or, needless to say, drunk); you’ll never wear the dress. And all those markings on the patterns? MARK THEM ALL. You won’t be able to ‘figure it out later’ — believe me, I KNOW.
  • Have everything in place before you start sewing. And by everything, I mean, wind one more bobbin than you think you’ll need, know where your seam ripper, measuring tape, pins, zipper foot for your machine, etc., are. If the project needs seam binding or buttons or a zipper or interfacing: have it before you start. The fabric store is a sad, sad place at ten p.m. (if it’s even open). And once you get home with whatever it was you needed, sitting down with a book will look awfully inviting. (Of course, being by nature impatient and NOT having what you need can lead to some “interesting” design decisions … not that I would know. Ha.)
  • Put your stuff away in the right place when you’re done. That way you won’t have to spend an hour cleaning up from your LAST project before you can start your NEXT project. Total buzzkill, that is.
  • Eliminate the “shouldas” from your sewing life. Has a project descended into that abyss from which it shall never emerge? Write. It. Off. Don’t let it hang around your sewing room like some Dickensian ghost. Give it away, cut it into quilt squares, mash it up for papermaking, hold an unfinished-object-swap with all your sewing friends, heck, throw it out or burn it if you have to — I don’t care what you do with it, but once you get to the point where thinking of it makes you feel guilty and self-flagellating, it is not a “unfinished project” but a curséd albatross. Sewing is no longer something people need to do to survive on the frontier [if you ARE on the frontier, pls ignore this part]; it’s a FUN HOBBY. Vigorously expunge the parts that aren’t fun. So you screwed up. So what? Bury the evidence, deny, deny, deny, and move ON.


As well as:


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Why sew alone?

Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 1:44 pm

One of the things about sewing is that it can be a hobby filled with “alone time”. While I enjoy “alone time” probably more than the average person, sometimes it gets a bit much. Here are some strategies I use to be more social:

1. organize a craft night with friends. Remember to have safety glasses around for new sewing machine users and no wine before using machines or irons. Other than that – go nuts. This has worked and will continue to work I hope!

2. Take a sewing class – stretch your skills, make some friends. This has worked for me in the past, although I find that maintainign a friendship over one thing can be ahrd, especially if you have wildly different priorities and values than the other sewers in the class. However, I am hopeful with my current class! And I love my teacher He is the smartest coolest, anal retentive sewer I know. Although Ron Collins still have given the best dart sewing tips ever: threading your machine backwards to prevent puckering on dart tips – genius.

3. Join a community sewing group. This has not worked out for me as it has, in my experience, turned into an experience where people can come and get their tailoring done for free. Although I admit I’m part of the problem as I hate to see people with sloppy or “homemade” looking effects and try to have people do things the “right way” or teach people how to do things so they won’t fall apart the first time they are washed. This often takes more time than people are willing to spend.

4. If you’re feeling alone, visit this link. http://www.fashion-incubator.com/mt/archives/what_to_do_with_scrap_pt2.html and see how many people are doing great things with fabric scraps.

5. Listen to a “mp3 book” or “book on tape”, or “NPR” (specifically Cartalk or NY Radio Lab). This is awesome. Using headphones is sometimes required to combat sewing machine noise. Although my computerized machine is deceptively quiet – it’s almost creepy.

6. Actually finish your projects and wear them, so that when/if you receive compliments you can talk to someone about sewing. But always remember, people may not want as much information as you’d like to share. Moderation in all things!

Any other tips?


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