Monday, June 19, 2006

Fleece chronicles

Once upon a time there was a large fleece. It came from the working farm at the Vet School, where the sheep were raised for the students to practice on, and for their lamb (as in meat) production.

With no fancy coats to keep their fleeces clean, like in their tame sheep-for-fiber cousins, their locks were wild and daring, worn carelessly while prancing around to avoid the clumsy student and rolling in the green pastures.

The large fleece was a fine specimen, with a nice crimp, and an astounding quantity of extraneous vegetable matter firmly adhered in mats of lanolin and dirt.

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Still, vet students are notorious fools, and the fleece was brought home, where its aromatic presence banned children from the attic and delighted the cat.

After some pondering, the Dawn-liquid-detergent-consuming task of washing the fleece began. At first in the washing machine, to the astonishment of the land-lady, with whom the machine is shared, but the fleece refused to open itself to the cold beauty of technology. Having already swiftly disposed of the garbage disposal device in the kitchen sink by strangling it in loose fibers, it was time to try the bathtub.

Fleece dregs, third wash
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Fleece dregs, fourth wash
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Oops, all out of Dawn: time for a rinse
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or as clean as it will ever be.

How the fleece will be deprived of all its vegetable accoutrements, and tamed into spinnable fiber is, at present, unknown. For now, it is still dubious that it will ever ever get all completely dry.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Flight pioneer exclusive interview

Welcome Mr. Orville Wright, just stepped down from one of his planes during the first exciting days of motorized flying, circa 1903.

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The Wright Brothers grew up in a very supportive family, and their mother was "exceedingly bright, excellent at cooking, cleaning and encouraging her children".

Mr. Wright neglected to mention that his mother also provided most of the knitwear for the family, as shown in this recent photograph.