Monday, August 31, 2015

DIY -- vacuum packer?

You probably noticed I never talked about this before.
I don't think you need one.
You can get canned food that will keep as long as two years.
If you are freezing food, when you have filled the Ziploc bag, fold it over and press lightly.
That will push the air out.
Now seal it.
When you pick it up by the seal, you will see that the bag tucks around the food and lies flat.
That's enough for non-industrial purposes.

If you absolutely have to spend the money, make sure and find an independent detailed review that covers:
how long it actually worked (some conk out while under warranty)
repairability (probably not)
year the most recent review was posted (models reviewed may be out of production)
how to clean it (might be too big for your dishwasher)
vacuum strength of 28 hg or higher
whether it rips the bags when you try to remove them

Read all the unfavorable reviews first and take warning, especially if they say it was hard to get to the maker or the maker stonewalled them about problems.
Also ignore short positive reviews or, on Amazon, reviews from "A Customer" who could be a click farm.

I suggest not buying something with a reduced price because it might be at the end of model life.
Companies have been known to make changes so that old consumables don't work.
Translation: the bags that work with this model might be out of production and bags for newer models might not work with this old model. Once you run out of starter bags, you might have a useless paperweight on your hands.

Other than that, good luck.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Genesis 6 & 7

Your assignment for this week was to read Genesis 6 and 7.
Let’s cut to the chase and then we’ll move on to what you really want to know.
Lemekh didn’t get 70 generations.  He didn’t even get 7.  He was wiped out in the flood along with his wives and children.
This is the second answer to the urban legend “we are descended from murderers.” Qain was not a murderer, and his descendants were wiped out in the flood, and those are the two reasons the claim is false.
Noach, Yefet, Shem, and Cham and their wives survived.
But wait, you’re going to say, wasn’t Noach’s father named Lemekh?
Yes, but if you read your Bible instead of just going by urban legends, you will see that Noach’s father Lemekh was descended from Shet, Adam and Chavvah’s third son.  It’s a different lineage.
And Noach was not a murderer.
So humans are not descended from murderers and anybody who says we are, hasn’t read the Bible and is misquoting it for their own purposes.  We’ve seen this issue before and we’ll see it again. 
Now.  What you really want to know is does the Bible have pagan stuff in it and who were the N’filim. 
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 4:13-16

Genesis 4:13-16
יג וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־יְהוָֹה גָּדוֹל עֲוֹנִי מִנְּשׂוֹא:
יד הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּמִפָּנֶיךָ אֶסָּתֵר וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד בָּאָרֶץ וְהָיָה כָל־מֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי:
טו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהֹוָה לָכֵן כָּל־הֹרֵג קַיִן שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם וַיָּשֶׂם יְהוָֹה לְקַיִן אוֹת לְבִלְתִּי הַכּוֹת־אֹתוֹ כָּל־מֹצְאוֹ:
טז וַיֵּצֵא קַיִן מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָֹה וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ־נוֹד קִדְמַת־עֵדֶן:
Translation:  Qain said to ****  my sin is too great to bear.
You have pushed me out today from the surface of the earth and from your presence, I shall hide and be a trembler and wanderer in the land and it shall turn out that anyone who finds me will kill me.
**** said to him therefore anybody who kills Qain shall be established for seven pairs and **** set for Qain a sign so that nobody who found him would strike him.
Qain went out from before **** and settled in the land of Nod eastward of Eden.
                                                                                                              My sin
… than bearing
I shall hide, go in secret
Seven pairs
“Seven pairs” is shivataim.  It looks like a class of nouns in Hebrew that end in –aim and come in pairs.  Eynaim eyes, raglaim feet, aznaim ears.  Also shnataim two years; sh’vuaim two weeks; yomaim two days. 
But what is shivataim doing here?  That can only be understood in the context of the rest of the episode, as I discuss on the Fact-Checking post.
Also notice that the “sign of Qain” is set to protect him.
“Anyone who finds me” comes from Jewish law.  A killer could live in a city of refuge, but if he went outside he could be killed by the dead man’s closest relative, the goel ha-dam.  If there was no relative who qualified for this role, then “anybody who found” the killer outside the city of refuge could kill him.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knitting -- hats

How big do you make a knitted hat?
There are two ways to measure; do both of them to make sure you did it right.
First, put the measuring tape around your head just above the ears.
Write down the number.
Now put the end of the tape against the nape of your neck.
Run the tape over the  top of  your head to where you want the hem or the fold of the hat to go.
Write down the number and divide by 2.
The second number should be more or less 1/3 of the first number.
That's how I get my hat size of 7 1/2.

Using 1 skein total of worsted (Wool of  the Andes), I cabled on 120 stitches to a size 7 16 inch circular needle.
I  worked k2/p2 rib for 5 inches.
Then I purled together the stitches of the p2 part of the rib, leaving a k2/p1 rib.
I kept that up for 7 rows.
Then I KNIT together the purl stitch and one of the knit stitches.  No more ribs.
I knit for 7 rows.
Then I counted how many stitches I had left and picked a number X that went into that evenly.
Next round I did K2TOG every X stitches, and then knit 6 rows.
Figure a new X, then do a round of  K2TOG every X stitches until you have to change to  a 12 inch  circular needle.
Notice that the larger X is, the slower you decrease the crown and the taller the hat will be.
Keep doing that until even the 12 inch tether is too long.

Now turn the cap inside out and knit off all the stitches the way you knit off the shoulder of a Fair Isle pullover.
Cut a tail and weave it in.
You should have a hat that fits nicely over your head; it might even allow you to fold up a cuff against your forehead.
I can make a hat, pair of crew socks, and pullover with 14 skeins of Wool of the Andes worsted.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm just saying -- consequences are a bitch

So a bunch of you couldn't keep your pants zipped up or your panty hose pulled up.
What's worse is, in a world of Chinese and other hacking, you went online to get your kicks.
Now you've been outed.
It's horrible that some of the people using that site committed suicide.
Some others are about to lose their jobs because they are going to lose security clearances.
Consequences are a bitch.
Whatever you sign up to do, there will be consequences, sometimes bad ones.
Ignoring them means they will happen at the absolutely worst time they possibly could.
Ignoring them is adolescent, not adult.
If you are doing something and ignoring the possible bad consequences,
turn in your grownup card because you just forfeited it,
the way criminals forfeit their rights to freedom.

So your significant other is stonewalling you.
You admit that you ignored previous conversations.
You admit that you committed emotional abandonment.
But you don't understand why there's such a silence now.
Consequences are a bitch.
You  have destroyed any confidence your SO previously had, that the two of you had an emotional commitment.
Go to a therapist and find out why you can't keep up your end of an emotional commitment.
Or suck it up.
While you're trying to decide between the two, here's a bit of experience.
One place where I worked, a situation would develop called "the office spouse."
This label only applied when one or both people were married to somebody else on the outside.
Sometimes there would be a divorce and the office spouses would marry each other.
If you don't fix your problem with emotional commitment, this might be in your future.
It doesn't matter how long you've been in the relationship.
Old people have a habit of saying, "At my age, I don't need this aggravation."
Been there, done that.

If you're going to behave like children when you are supposed to be responsible adults, it's  understandable that you would whine like children when you get caught.
If you don't meet your responsibilities in an adult relationship, it's understandable that you would whine when karma comes calling.
But whining is not pretty at any age, and it won't get you anywhere.

I'm just saying...

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Lemekh I

Your assignment for this week was to read Genesis 4:18-24.
In this episode, Lemekh is the descendant of Qain.  What’s more, if you count Adam, Lemekh is the 7th generation of the world.  It has taken seven pairs, male and female, to get to Lemekh.  Seven pairs, seven twos, is shivataim.  Yeah, it’s roundabout. 
Now what’s Lemekh’s connection, aside from his descent?
His connection is in his complaint, “If I killed.”
What version of “killed?”
If you are following along in the Bit at a Time Hebrew lessons, you will soon get to the point that shows that Lemekh is also not a ratschan but a horeg.  Not a murderer but a killer.
The problem is that as the 7th generation, Lemekh knows he hasn’t been punished for Qain’s sin – and he definitely knows about Qain’s sin, as his complaint shows.
So since he hasn’t been punished for that, he thinks he will get off “77 fold,” and again, the Hebrew is important.  Lemekh repeats what was said of Qain, shivataim yuqam.  That means “be avenged 7 pairs.”  He goes on to say “then Lemekh 77.”  In other words there will be at least 70 more generations after Lemekh, all his descendants, before there’s any vengeance.
So is that what happened?  For that, read Genesis 6 and 7.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 4:9-12

Genesis 4:9-12
ט וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־קַיִן אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי:
י וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה עָשִׂיתָ קוֹל דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים אֵלַי מִן־הָאֲדָמָה:
יא וְעַתָּה אָרוּר אָתָּה מִן־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר פָּצְתָה אֶת־פִּיהָ לָקַחַת אֶת־דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ מִיָּדֶךָ:
יב כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֲדָמָה לֹא־תֹסֵף תֵּת־כֹּחָהּ לָךְ נָע וָנָד תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ:
Translation:  **** said to Qain, where is Hevel your brother and he said, I didn’t know, am I my brother’s guardian?
He said what did you do, the voice of your brother’s blood cry to me from the earth.
Now you are cursed beyond the earth that opened its mouth to take the blood of your brother from your hand.
When you work the earth, it will not additionally give its strength, you will be a trembler and wanderer in the land.
                                                                                                     Your brother
Blood, construct state of plural
Opened, made a hole
Its mouth
Its strength
Normally, “blood” appears in the singular, dam.  Why the plural appears here is open to guess.  Normally, the plural of dam means money, especially money damages for a transgression like battery.  But as a horeg, Qain doesn’t owe damages.  He has to flee the goal ha-dam, the blood redeemer (see what I mean?) but there are no cities of refuge for him to go to.  That’s why he has to tremble and wander.  He’ll say it himself in a moment.
The normal version of “strength” is koach but like other –ach nouns, the “a” drops out when an ending is added.  We saw this before with ruachruchot. 
“Brother” is ach.  Notice the yod that is added before a personal ending.  The same thing happens with av, “father,” avikha, your father; and em, “mother”, imekha, your mother.  “Sister” is achot and the personal ending is added directly, achotkha, your sister.
Notice that the serpent was cursed “beyond the domestic and wild animals,” although Torah never says that these were cursed; and Qain is cursed “beyond the earth”, which was cursed because of what his father did.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Problem fixed -- Mendel Beilis Trial LINKS

I found out today that the links to the trial chronology and witness list might not have worked for you.

Fixed that.

Try again.

The transcript PDFs seem to still be working; let me know if you find  one that doesn't work.

Sorry about that.

DIY -- whole cloth quilt

One step up from the tied quilt I wrote about in April is a whole cloth quilt.
Fabric websites carry lots of handsome print fabric, one of the finest being damask.
You can get a limited number of damask patterns in fabric that is 72 inches wide (six feet) for a king-size bed.
There are more choices in narrower cloth.
Buy enough yardage, such as two yards, for the length of your bed.
Baste with your batting and backing.
Put on the binding.

"Quilting" means buy a special set of hand-sewing needles called "quilting sharps" and a special  sturdy thread called "quilting thread."  Quilting thread comes in tons of colors but I recommend white for your first quilt
You can make a knot in the thread and use that to secure the thread on the back of the backing.
But that takes a big knot to keep it from coming through the muslin backing, and it makes a tiny lump.
Experienced quilters will run the thread through the backing in a tiny X and then make another tiny X over it at an angle to secure the  thread, to avoid this lump.
Now push the needle through the center of the  X so it comes out on the other side of the quilt.

You can put the quilt in a frame to hold it steady while you work but  you  can also quilt "in your lap" so you don't have to spend money for the frame.
Now decide how you  will use your quilting thread to make a pattern with the damask.
I suggest a line equally distant from two major pattern motifs.
That should provide enough anchoring for your fabric layers without needing too much work.

An experienced quilter becomes able to make several quilting stitches before pulling the thread through, leaving a nice even line.  This helps when several people are quilting the same cover and it goes pretty fast.
It's hard to do with thick batting so you might do what I do, which is set each stitch separately.
It takes longer and you have to be more careful so that the stitches aren't crooked, and if you want to have a quilting party you'll annoy your friends. But it's easier on the fingers.

You can also use batiks as your top layer although they may give you less of a lead as to where to quilt.
You could always quilt interlocking quadrangles  or circles.
Mark the top layer using a marker that will wash out -- NOT a Sharpie -- in the shape you want and quilt along the lines.

You can also use a sewing machine to quilt but a machine is a big expense if you're just testing to see whether you like quilting and you don't use it for any other sewing.

Quilting as opposed to tying takes longer but it's a good skill because you can learn to make say a padded vest or coat with fancy quilted patterns, something that would look kind of weird with all those buttons in strange places.
Unless of course you place the buttons artistically.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Free Will

The single most important verse in the story we’re reading is Genesis 4:7.
If you do right shall you not excel and if you don’t do right, at the entrance is sin lying down and it thirsts for you but you can master it.
This verse embodies an issue that some other cultures try to go around.
Free will.  “You can master it.”
Some commentators such as Kalisch make this a commandment.  It’s not a commandment.  Gd is teaching Qain a general principle.  It’s possible for Qain not to do what Gd commands, just as his parents didn’t do what Gd commanded.
Gd tried making a commandment before, and it didn’t work.  Now, without pointing Qain back at what his parents did, Gd is saying that Qain can go different ways, and there are consequences no matter how he chooses.
Some cultures try to get around this with the concept of fate.  Oedipus was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, but he was still punished through being exiled from Thebes.  How is that fair?
Torah says differently.  A person’s fate is in his own hands.  Human psychology has lots of ways of rationalizing or pretending that they won’t have to deal with the consequences of what they do.  We think we can achieve what we want even if we do the opposite of what Gd commanded.  Torah is never outdated because it is full of stories of people dealing with the consequences of their decisions.
It’s also true that the 613 commandments don’t affect every last thing we do down to the split second.  That leaves plenty of room for mistakes, on top of the human possibility of ignorance and inattentiveness.  And remember, Jewish law has ways of dealing with all these situations – AFTER the fact.  We are not fated to act one way or another, we just go along and then deal with the fallout.
In Egypt there was a concept of heka, a form of magic involved with the individual controlling the future to his own benefit.
Torah ignores that and not only prohibits behaving like the Egyptians, but also rejects all kinds of magic and miracles as guiding factors for human life.
Torah declares there is a right and a wrong that goes beyond what benefits the individual person.
And in fact all cultures agree with this by having norms or rules or laws or taboos or whatever you want to call them. 

By punishing Qain with exile, not with death, Gd enforces the laws familiar to the people who listened to this story, satisfying them once again that these were ancient laws and that Gd is doing the same thing He has commanded them to do.
And that’s an important feature of Torah compared to other cultures.  Socrates himself points out that Greek culture punished murderers, but at the same time offered sacrifices to gods who were not only murderers but parricides.  In addition, murderers and parricides could get off if their advocates could speak well enough and confuse the meaning of right and wrong; that was Socrates’ main complaint against the Sophists. 
Gd did not promulgate a culture of “do as I say, not as I do.”  He took the high road.
For next week, I want you to read  Genesis 4:18-24.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Vocabulary Review IX

Vocabulary review
                                                                                                     Your brother
Children, sons
Bread, food
Now, at this time
Road, path
Blood, construct state of plural
Opened, made a hole
Its mouth
Its strength
He shall wound you
You shall wound him
Your pain
[give] birth
Your desire
                                                                                                    For your sake
Jerusalem artichoke?
Your return
Dressed them
He put out
His hand
Push out, divorce
            Get pregnant
Birth (v)
I have acquired
Dressed them
At the end
Grain offering and by extension late afternoon prayer service
Firstlings of animals
Their chelev
Turn to
Get angry
Rise, bear with
Door, opening
Sin [offering]
Killed him

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved