Sunday, June 29, 2008

one in twenty-five-

I was at Elann's chat a few weeks back, and Amy recommended The Sociopath Next Door. I just HAD to read that one! The book's main premise is that four percent of the population act without conscience. This explains a lot. Some earmarks of behavior include:

1) failure to conform to social norms
2) deceitfulness, manipulativeness
3) impulsivity
4) irritability, aggressiveness
5) reckless disregard for the safety of self and others
6) consistent irresponsibility
7) lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person

Of course, I am all those things when I have PMS. Yeah well, it's true. (Only kind of kidding.) Stout gives examples of a sociopath's types of behaviors and types of motivation. The book is not a pleasurable read, but it is a very interesting one.

I know I have a least one sociopathic character in my life, and upon reflection, there are several I've known that just stood out as "not right." Interestingly enough, Joey Buttafuco's wife (remember her, she was the one who was shot by his teenaged girlfriend) was on TV last week, promoting a book she wrote. She finally came to the conclusion that HE was a sociopath, and she needed to divorce him. (Took her long enough to figure THAT out.) Good girl.

Anyhow, the book also outlines some self defense strategies for dealing with sociopaths-

1) The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no consience.

2) In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on-educator, doctor, leader, animal lover, humanist, parent-go with your instincts.

3) When considera a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he of she has. (three lies, broken promises, or neglected responsibilities indicate you are dealing with a liar. Deceit is the lynchpin of consciencelessness.) So cut your losses and move on.

4) Question authority. Stout points out it's easier to behave badly when people are lumped into groups. "They" are easier to villanize.

5) Suspect flattery.

6) If necessary, redefine your concept of respect. Fear is not respect.

7) Do not join the game.

8) The best was to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.

9) Question your tendency to pity too easily. (raises hand guiltily)

10) Do not try to redeem the unredeemable.

11) Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character.

12) Defend your psysche.

13) Living well is the best revenge.

I wish I had known these things 10 years ago. My life would have been much simpler. But having read them, and written them down (that was just as much for me as it was you, dear reader), I will be more likely to remember them.

It is kind of a relief to know that I didn't do anything that caused certain events.

BTW, the sampler square background is Two Color Star Stitch, from the red Barbara. I think this is an excellent stitch to break up multi-colored pooling.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tales of the New Economy-If it sounds to good to be true

you must be paying with cash.

DH and I went out to Sears today to look for a mattress. Ours can vote in the next election, so we figured it was time. Sears was having a huge sale, so we flopped on a few beds, and I did a little price checking.

We left the mall because the refrigerator lady was stalking DH. We hopped in the car, and drove down the road to the mattress store. Have you noticed that these are really common? We have 4 mattress stores (same company) on a 15 mile stretch of the same street. We walked in, found a few things that we liked, and started playing price footsie. The salesman found out we didn't require any financing (we were shopping on the finance side of town) and proposed a deal-

Take the mattress and box spring (an as-is floor model deal) that goes for about 1500.00. He'd sell it to us at HIS price-that is manufacturer's price, and his discount, or about 850.00. And since he'd help us out, he wanted us to help him out with a little barter transaction. Then he started taking bids on his "commission." He asked what it would be worth. I wouldn't say, because I wanted to see what he had in mind (my first thought was 175.00 or about 20%).

I consider myself a crappy bargainer. I never get those "whale of a deals." I was stumped. He decided that since most ATMs will let you take a maximum of 300.00 out, that's what he wanted. Then I offered up my 175.00. No dice. 200.00? "Not worth my time."

There was too much madness flying thru the air. I couldn't see the loophole, and I knew there had to be one. I try not to make purchases in that kind of situation, because I will usually get screwed. DH is not a shopper and he wasn't even looking for the bait and switch. We got in the car, and I tried to puzzle it out in my head. I could pay by credit card for the mattress, but not for his commission. That meant the corporate office was getting paid 1/2 off for that mattress and the transaction would appear normal. "It's not worth my time." Wha??

So we drove to two more of the company stores. Funny, 'our' style wasn't a floor model close-out at either of the other two stores. Then, we found a better deal on a better mattress, the mattress cover (it's bed-wetter proof, in case we ever need that feature), delivered. The previous "on the sly" deal would have been more.

It took me a longggg time to figure it out. He really offered up his employee discount so we could buy a mattress and have it delivered to ourselves! Or possibly to himself! I wonder how he intended to write it up?

Friday, June 06, 2008


Ok, I am not smart enough to manage a screen shot, so it's a good thing Marie hooked me up. Look at THIS!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Knitting content resumes-

Ahhh. I got my books in from China last week. I slogged several armloads down to the post office, and flung them hither and yon. I glanced at mine today.

Several of them seem to be rehash books of patterns already flung out in knitting land. Some were European, some were Japanese. Ah, well, I can figure them out. I haven't sat down with the pattern drafting book-that will require a lot of concentration.

I can't read Chinese at all. When I was a little girl, my mom brought an origami book home with paper. Totally in Japanese. I learned a lot following pictures VERY closely. I was probably quiet as a mouse for an entire weekend. I think the drafting book with require the same level of attention.

The stitch dictionaries---OMG. Ok, there aren't really 5101 knitting stitches in there. Maybe 35% are crochet, and another 25% are intarsia and fair isle, and I am pretty sure that some stitches in book A are probably in book B (they are indiscriminate about copying-I found several patterns duplicated in a mega-sweater journal) and there are a lot of things I have seen in the Harmonys and the Barbaras. But feast your eyes on this. It might be in an Oma's, and it might be in a Strick Bauern (sp?) but yee-haw, it jumped right off the page at me. Not a single M-Fin' KEY in either book, so I guess I will be trying to figure these out. There's a lot of pretty, and a lot of pretty different in them.