Friday, November 30, 2007

The New Cat Tree

I've admired the cat trees from Angelical Cat Company for over ten years. As part of an early Christmas present to myself, I finally ordered one of their trees. It was delivered today. As expected, Sprocket took over posession and won't let any of the other cats on the tree.

Here's the tree just off the freight delivery truck.

Here is the unwrapped tree in place by the window.

And here's Sprocket on the lower bed, preventing the other fur kids from climbing up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

OJ Says He's "Not Guilty" and Looking for that Blue Barrel

OJ makes his plea.

OJ pled "not guilty" to all counts against him in a Las Vegas courthouse today. Judge Jackie Glass set a trial date of April 7th, 2008. Here is CNN's coverage of the hearing. Judge Glass, who looks like she can give one heck of a smackdown, ~loved the GMAFB look on her face while one defense attorney was spewing~ informed both parties that all motions must be filed by February 1st, 2008. Like my friend Intrepid said, "You just know she's wanting to pull the lever that will open up the trap door under the defense table that leads to the sewers under Vegas." This is going to be one hell of a trial. My friend donchais said, "You've gotta love this judge. She's the female equivalent of Judge Fidler."

Where is Peterson's Blue Barrel?

It appears Drew Peterson's stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, was the individual that a neighbor saw helping Peterson load a large blue barrel into the back of his Danali truck the same day that his wife Stacey was reported missing on October 28th. Two days later, Morphey was rushed to the hospital for what appears to be a suicide attempt. According to the Chicago Tribune:

The distraught man contacted a friend, saying words to the effect, "I think I just helped Drew dispose of Stacey." The relative allegedly told the friend the plastic container was warm to the touch, and may have weighed about 120 pounds, a source said.
Another source familiar with the investigation said on Wednesday, Drew Peterson's 14-year-old-son is expected to appear before a special grand jury looking into not only Stacey Peterson's disappearance, but the 2004 death of Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in her bathtub.

All Headline News Story.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"It's Very Difficult, Very Difficult to Be Resonable" Book Excerpt

From: Tearing Down the Wall of Sound by Mick Brown

I had wanted to post another book excerpt some time ago, but real life crept back in and I had to get back to sewing. I'm taking a little break here, to post a long excerpt from Chapter 29, pages 384-389.

The following is from the interview Mick did with Spector, two months before Lana's murder.
His wristwatch spoke. "It's four o'clock."

Who, I asked, had been the greatest love of his life?

He looked away in silence. "Good friends," he said. "It's been Lenny; it's been John . . . It's been my friends and my little boy Phillip was probably the greatest love of my life."

Both John and Lenny, he said, were like brothers. "John--it was the perfect marriage. Just perfect. He loved the way I worked. He loved the way I thought. We just loved each other."

And Lenny?

"Lenny was like an older brother. I recorded him, supported him when he couldn't work--when they wouldn't allow him to work, and I buried him when he died. Losing Lenny and John was like losing my dad. Very, very emotional. Although I was too young to understand the value of losing my dad. Old enough to feel the loss, but not old enough to appreciate the loss until I was much older, and then I realized."

He fell silent.

"But you just learn to put things in perspective . . ." he said at last. "It's like those records; they were the greatest love of my life when I was making them. I lived for those records. I lived and breathed those records. That's why I never had relationships with anybody that could last. They were my life; they were more important than anything. Nothing competed with them." He paused, bewilderment flickering in his face. "That's why I can't figure out why they have so little significance to me today."

I asked about his three adopted children__Donte, Gary and Louis--and his face became a mask.

"I see them occasionally, but I don't have a close relationship with them; I don't pretend to. We're friends. But the only relationship I have with my children is with Nicole, with whom I'm very close. You have to have children when you're ready to have children. It's like anything. If I had made these records when I was forty, I would have bee able to handle it a lot better. I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I knew what I was doing artistically, but I didn't know what I was doing emotionally or physically. I couldn't answer any of the questions; I didn't know what I was doing. So I certainly didn't know anything about having children or relationships."

He made no mention of his first marriage, to Annette Merar. Nor of Janis Zavala, the person who, more than anyone, had loved and cared for Spector over the past thirty years. And when I asked about Ronnie, he could not even bring himself to speak her name.

"Not to get on a dissertation about ex-wives and shit like that. But wives and marriage isn't a word, it's a sentence; and wives last through our marriage, ex-wives last forever, and all that other bullshit. No disrespect, but I haven't spoken to my ex-wife in more than thirty years; I couldn't give a shit whether she lives or dies. I've been vindicated in the courts over and over. But she can still get up forty years later and sing the same fucking song and get applause. Could a typist do that? Could a stenographer? Look at it this way; I also recorded Tina Turner. She's not complaining; she's not suing anybody. Is it my fault that this ex-wife is not Tina Turner? Maybe it has something to do with a lack of talent there that she can't get justification in the courts. Maybe the courts should say, 'You should be more talented,' but they can't say that. Maybe she's not Diana Ross, Tina Turner. I made her famous, and she resents that. But give it up, for God's sake. I don't want anybody to thank me. I just say, "Why say, "Fuck you." ' Just leave me alone! 'Oh, but he's a control freak . . .'

"If you come down to what people really hate about Phil Spector, it's that he controls everything . . ."

Did he care, I asked, what people thought of him?

"Very much. What's very important to me is respect, that people respect me, respect what I did, and think that I'm the best at what I do. Other than that, I don't care . . ."

And did he think he had been a good person?

The question stopped him for a moment. "Reasonable," he said at last. "Reasonably good. I mean I haven't done anything. . ." The thought went to silence.

"It's funny--there isn't anybody who has touched me who hasn't had some sort of success with me; anyone who has touched me in the business who hasn't made money; anyone at all. Not that it means anything, but it's interesting. Because you hear such negative shit that people say, and yet everyone of them has achieved some sort of success with me. So, yeah, yeah . . . good person."

He paused, lost in thought. "My daughter sometimes asks me, 'Dad, are you lonely?' And I say, 'Why do you ask me that?' And she says, 'Because you're alone a lot of the time, and you keep to yourself and you don't tell much about yourself.' And I say, 'Well, there's a difference between being alone and lonely.' I am alone, but I'm not lonely. I've talked to women about relationships, and I've heard what they wanted, and I walked away saying, 'Gee . . . That's what she wants in a relationship?' And I've thought, I don't know what I want in a relationship, but I know one thing; I want a hell of a lot more than that. And maybe I can't find it with anyone. I'm not searching; I'm not looking for a relationship, because maybe it's not there.

"I've got to learn to have a relationship with me and feel comfortable with me, doing what I'm doing and what I'm about. I would feel comfortable, as corny as it sounds having a good relationship with myself. It's what I've always wanted. For forty fucking years. A decent relationship with myself. A reasonable relationship with myself.

"I'm not going to ever be happy. Happiness isn't on. Because happiness is temporary. Unhappiness is temporary. Ecstasy is temporary. Orgasm is temporary. Everything is temporary. But being reasonable is an approach. And being reasonable with yourself. It's very difficult, very difficult to be reasonable."

. . .

Had any of his years of therapy been of any help?

"Not enough." He shrugged. "I don't know. There's something I'd either not accepted, or I'm not prepared to accept or live with in my life, that I don't know about perhaps. That I'm facing now. I didn't want it to be because of Nicole. I want it to be because of me. I want to get back in the record business because of me. I don't want to be like these people . . . 'I found the woman of my dreams; I'm going to be so happy, blah, blah, blah.' I made this commitment to me. I want to change for me. I want to try and have a reasonable existence, and if I can't, I can't. So I've been experimenting with medication that I think would help, and not interfere with my creative process and my thinking process, and it's been very slow, very difficult." He paused. "I couldn't have done this conversation six months ago."

Six years ago?

"Absolutely not."

Sixteen years ago?

"Maybe under false pretenses, but probably no. I wouldn't have even thought of it. I was completely . . . I was another person. I'm a completely different person that I was three months ago, six months ago, nine months ago. I am constantly evolving, constantly changing."

Even now, he said, it was difficult for him to have a meeting like this.

"I can't stand to be talked about. I can't stand to be looked at. I can't stand the attention. I don't defend myself. I don't defend others. I decided many years ago that I wasn't going to make any public statements. I'm a diabetic and as a young child I was told I could never eat chocolate and drink Coca-Cola, so I have great willpower. And it takes a tremendous amount of willpower to abstain from commenting. I commented my heart out in the '60s. I controlled everything. I was a control freak." He laughed.

"I don't like talking about the past. I don't even like meeting people from the past. It's difficult for me. I have a difficult time. Reunions . . . troublesome for me; very troublesome." It was only recently that he had been able to start bringing his old friends back into his life. "A lot of my enemies are dying off, which is a shame because they define me in so many ways."

So who were his closest friends?

He thought for a moment. "My attorneys," he said and laughed. Neither of us could have imagined at that moment just how prescient that statement would be.

. . .

Spector was still not drinking. but shortly before Christmas, he was involved in an accident that was to change things.

He was driving himself to visit a friend at her home in Beverly Hills, according to one source. Near his destination, Spector ran off the road and hit a fire hydrant. The car was undriveable. Shaken, Spector walked the rest of the way to the friend's house, where he poured himself a drink. By the time his driver arrived to collect him, Spector had to be helped to the car.

In January, Starsailor began giving interviews to plug the release of Silence is Easy. Asked about Phil Spector's participation in the record, the bass player James Stelfox was quoted as saying that Spector showed Starsailor "how records used to be made" and they had shown him how recordings were made today. How that must have hurt.

At the same time word began to leak out that Paul McCartney would shortly be releasing a remixed version of Let It Be, shorn of all Spector's additions and embellishments, and entitled Let It Be . . . Naked. After thirty-five years McCartney had finally gotten his revenge.

On February 1, 2003, my interview with Phil Spector was published in the Telegraph magazine. The cover line read "Found! Rock's Lost Genius." Thirty-six hours later, Phil Spector walked into the House of Blues and met Lana Clarkson.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Arrests Made in the Natalie Holloway Disappearance

CNN is reporting that the three individuals, Joran van der Sloot, Satish and Deepak Kalope "were arrested on suspicion of involvement in manslaughter and causing seriously bodily harm that caused the death of the 18-year-old American, the prosecutor's office said in a statement."

Lets all hope the Aruban officials finally have new evidence that will stick to these three, very slippery boys. I can't wait to hear about this new evidence.

Update: November 23, 2007 1:00 PM
Satish and Deepak Kalope will remain in jail. van der Sloot will face a Judge on Monday. Read all about it at CNN's latest story.

Fox news is reporting that a prosecutor on the case has stated all three suspects are under arrest. The "new evidence" appears to be "phone taps" between the Kalope brothers and van der Sloot. Apparently the evidence applies equally to all three suspects. I hope this is true. There's no better evidence that a suspects own words, especially when they contradict what they told the police, months or years before.
Special thanks to True2Blues for passing on the Fox news report info.

Here is an MsNBC story on the recent developments.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fleece & Flannel Blankie Sale

I've got four polar fleece and flannel throw blankies I'm putting on sale. There are only one each of these, no more available, and whom ever emails me first, gets first shot at purchase. The blankets regularly sell for $45.00 each + shipping and tax. The price of each blanket is now $30.00 + $8.00 shipping. California residents will be charged tax. These blankets are ready to ship. I take paypal payment only.

Dimensions: 42-43" wide x 59" long

This is a one of a kind Christmas Blanket with Snowmen playing.

This is a one of a kind Baseball blanket.

This is an HP Shields blanket. There were no more than five of these made. This flannel is a bit heavier than the others. Update: Sold!

This is a HP Owls blanket. There were no more than five of these made. This flannel is a bit softer than the other HP flannel. Update: SOLD!

Email me if you are interested in any of these blankies. This entry is cross posted on my Sewing Blog.

Update: The two HP blankets have sold.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Limerick Contest

"Oh how to describe Spector, Phil,Whose millions hired many a shill?Phil'd rant and he'd rave,Himself for to save~His mom should have been on the pill!"

A friend recently sent me this limerick, and it gave me an idea. I'll have a limerick contest! There will be a prize for the best limerick from Betsy Ross Linens. Your limerick must follow the AABBA format, and be about one of the major participants at the trial. All entries must be emailed to the blog; I will not accept entries as comments no matter how good the limerick is. The top ten limericks and the winner will be posted on the blog. Contest ends Thanksgiving Day.

I'd also like to give a special shout out to two of my long time fans. Sheryl SKS in that big city on the east coast (Hope you are staying warm!), and a very young Anna. No one believes her when she tells them she's 86! Thank you both for being loyal readers.
Update: 11/17/07
I apologize. I forgot to tell you that the prize is your choice of either a Market Bag or a Hot/Cold pack in your choice of fabric. You can see examples of my Market Bags and Hot/Cold Packs on my sewing website.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Market Line Production Continues

I'm actually making some progress with this big order of Market Line bags. Here are the bags that are all ready for their initial sew. In the second image on top of the chair, you can see some finished bags that are, I'm happy to announce, slated for an exclusive little shop in Hilton Head, SC.

This entry will be cross posted on the sewing blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Inside The Castle

TMZ has a series of photos from inside Phil Spector's Alhambra Castle.

Here is a link to the photos at TMZ
. The captions are hilarious. How in the world did Linda Deutsch ever describe this place as "ornate, and in pristine condition" is beyond me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Being Swamped With Sewing Orders

Ever since the trial ended, I have been swamped trying to catch up with orders that came in during the trial, and there have been some orders that I just had to say I couldn't meet, because they came in too late for me to meet the individual's shipment deadline. I am so busy with sewing!

I am currently in major "Market Line" production right now, trying to fill two big orders and a few little ones for Market Bags and Market Totes. If anyone is interested in ordering something from the Market Line, you need to email me asap, since I will be shutting down the initial stage of this production (bonding glue to the canvas bases) tomorrow night or Friday at the latest, and I won't be revisiting these bags again until February of next year.

After that, I will be in major Hot/Cold Pack production for about a week. Then I will be working on table linens such as napkins and placemats, and after that, sachets and ornaments. I'm hoping I can even get to making some Throw Blankets this year. Sigh.

So if you are interested in a Market Line bag or a Hot/Cold Pack, you need to let me know now, so I can set the materials aside for that particular item.

This is a "Mini-Market Purse, " in Cotton Fabric 323 Geese.

This is a "Market Bag" made with Cotton Fabric 301 Calligraphy Red.

This is a "Market Tote" made with Cotton Fabirc 309 Mountain Cranes Blue.

This entry is cross posted on my sewing blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6th Hearing: Moving along at a snails pace

Even though I left the house late at 7:25 am, I made it into downtown LA a few minutes after 8:00 am. Traffic wasn't too bad, even with the intense fog. I stopped into the cafeteria just to see if there might be anything that appealed to me, but I decided to pass. I spot John Taylor and ask him if I can join him. He replied, "Sure." I ask him if he's heard anything through that grapevine that I assume all attorneys are connected into, but he just shakes his head. He asks me what happened over on the CTV forums, and I give him my impressions as to what I think happened, since I still don't understand the explanation that was given to me.

We talk a bit about civil cases in general, and punitive damages. I'm no lawyer, and I'm not really following all that Mr. Taylor is saying, but what I think I understand is, even if in round two, Spector is convicted, the plaintiff still has to put on a case. We speculate on whether or not Spector will even show up, because he did claim the waiver on October 22nd. The Clarkson's are not coming for this hearing today, nor is Rod Lindblum who has a hearing in another case.

I had taken a look see earlier upstairs, and the hallway was full of potential jurors. But inside 106 it was empty so I went back downstairs to wait for 10:00 am to come around with Mr. Taylor. After I rounded the 9th floor security, Ciaran is on a bench and says hello. Although his beat is now Federal Court, he showed up to report on this hearing. I mention to him that Taylor thinks he might not even show, and Ciaran replies, "Oh he's here." And as I turn, I see Rachelle and Spector down at the end of the hall, waiting to enter Fidler's courtroom. Spector sees me and stares. I see Linda Deutsch is in the hallway, and she comes over to say hello to Ciaran McEvoy from City News.

There is a somewhat tall man (everyone would tower over Spector) semi-bald with stark white hair still left on the sides. It's a good assumption this is Spector's new attorney. Rachelle is wearing a skin tight chocolate brown pantsuit with matching jacket top. Virtually all of the matching jacket and pants outfits that she has worn to court have been overly form fitting, and the jackets, all short, usually ending at her waist. I didn't notice if she had on a pair of Christian Laboutin shoes. What was new, were the bodyguards surrounding Spector. Gone are the massive refrigerator sized guys. These two new bodyguards are tall and slim, wearing very nice suits. The only thing that makes me thing they might not be members of the Nation of Islam, is that one of them has their long hair done in corn rows. I don't know if the Nation of Islam would let their members wear their hair in such a fashion. Spector is wearing his standard Edwardian style suit with an ice blue tie. The head gear is the same one we last saw; it hasn't changed.

At first, one of the gentlemen I saw down at that end of the hall, I thought was Chris Plourd, but I was mistaken. I leave Ciaran and walk down towards the courtroom, passing Spectors group and enter 106. The place is virtually empty, but there is a case in progress with 16 jurors in the jury box and the defense attorney is cross examining a witness. Steven Mikulan from the LA Weekly is there, and I very quietly slip into the second row beside him. A see a lone tiny woman sitting at the defense table. It isn't until much later that it dawns on me that this must be the defendant. Steve and I exchange silent hellos, and I mouth that Ciaran is out in the hallway. Taylor is already in the courtroom, sitting in the back row on one of the plastic chairs. AT 9:55 am, Spector enters the courtroom with his entourage, and they sit in the back row on the plastic chairs, surrounding John Taylor. 9:58 am, Pat Dixon enters.

At precisely 10:00 am, Judge Fidler calls a recess in the current case. After the jurors file into the jury room, Taylor gets up and he and Dixon exchange hellos. Alan Parachini, the head of the public relations office is already in the courtroom. Linda Deutsch Ciaran and several other reporters show up that I don't recognize. Sandi Gibbons arrives, and I think Steven says something like, "We're all here," or, "It's just like last week," as she sits down. Whenever Sandi sees me, she always smiles and says, "Hello Sprocket!"

Spector's defense attorney and Pat Dixon are greeting each other in the well, and exchanging business cards. There are more reporters in row two, and some spectators in the back row. But for the most part, the courtroom is pretty vacant. There is a pool photographer and a video cameraman set up. Rick Ocampo is here, and I'm wondering if he will be sitting second chair or not. Then I see AJ. He's clean shaven, and someone comments on it, and either he makes a joke about it or someone else does. Jackson greets Ciaran and Steven and then he addresses me directly. He says hello and gives me a little wave of his hand. AJ says, "It's good to see you," and asks how I was doing with my time off. At first I'm tongue tied and about to blush, because, he is SO handsome lol, and I'm quite startled that he even addressed me directly. I think I reply I'm fine, and then I say to him, "I heard you've been traveling." AJ replies, "Yes! I've been down to Austin and the up to New York.

As we wait for the hearing to begin, Ciaran and Steven discuss the NFL season. What they are talking about is Greek to me, although I try to listen in and follow it. The cameramen are getting their tripods ready. Finally the Judge calls court into session and Spector's attorney formally introduces himself for the record. It's Doron Weinberg. He informs Fidler that as far as we can tell, we are well on the way to resolving issues regarding an agreement in representation. So, although he and Spector are in daily negotiations, they have not inked the deal. Weinberg asks for a few more weeks to get these final differences resolved, and mentioning the upcoming holiday, asks for a date of Friday, December 7th as the next hearing to formalize his representation. There is no objection from the prosecution.

Fidler makes sure that Spector agrees that the count for a speedy trial ~the "zero-sixty" is reset to start from December 7th, and that's it. It's all over. Everyone slowly exits the courtroom, and Sandi Gibbons tells me the correct spelling of the new defense attorney's name. She believes he works in Riordan's firm in San Francisco, has tried several cases up there, and has some articles about him in the mainstream press.

And that's it. The case continues to move forward at a snails pace. I make my way back to the budget parking lot to head home and write my entry.

I almost forgot! As Linda Deutsch got in the elevator to go up to the press room on the 18th floor, I asked her if she was going to cover the OJ hearing on November 8th. She said, "Yes."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pay It Forward

When was the last time you did something out the generosity of your heart? You know, just did a good deed, or offered to help someone without them asking or getting something in return? How about the last time you did something for someone else anonymously? Just asking. Just wondering. Just throwing the question out there for y'all to think about.

I have been receiving a ton of emails from people wondering where I had disappeared to and "WHAT HAPPENED?" to my hat name, Sprocket, at the Court TV message board. Why was I (as I like to say) "shown the door?" Well, to tell the truth, the explanation I was given didn't make much sense to me at all, so I let it go. I decided to do what I have always done in these situations when I have been shown the door at a message board: I walk away and I don't turn around and immediately start knocking on the door, trying to get back in. It's not my style. It's not what I do. It's not who I am. What I do is move on. I let go, and walk away.

The last time I was shown the door at a forum (well over two-and-a-half years ago), I walked away. I didn't beg to be let back in, and I didn't ask for an explanation. I said, "That's fine," and let it go. My belief system has always been, if management doesn't want me, then why would I want to stay? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to stay someplace where I am not wanted. If you were at someones house, say, at a party or an event, and you were shown the door by the people running the show, would you demand to get back in? Would you try to sneak in through a back door? Not me. That's not how I act in real life, that's not how I behave on the Internet, and that's why I have walked away from Court TV message boards.

Some people on the Internet think nothing of changing personalities. They register a new name, and go right back to where they had just been shown the door. For some, they don't have any problem doing that, and that's fine, for them. I'm not judging them for doing that. But for me, there is something in my character, that just prevents me from doing that. At every public crime forum I have ever participated in, my hat/member name has always been Sprocket. I have never tried to register at a public message board under a different name, and be "incognito." I've never had the desire or felt the need to do that. Like I said previously, it's not in my nature to do that; it's not who I am.

And that brings me to one other point. Someone registered a member name at the Court TV message board as "Sprocket II," and that is not me. As flattering as that is (that someone would want to imitate me) this "Sprocket II" is not me. I obviously can't control what other people decide to do, or the names they choose to register as on a message board. However, if there ever is any name registered at Court TV (or any other place) that sounds like "Sprocket" or is spelled similarly to "Sprocket" or some other variation of my name, I guarantee you, that is not me.

I want to thank each and every person who wrote me letters of support after I was shown the door at the Court TV message board. Your kind words meant the world to me. I'll still be here for Spector round deux, so don't worry about that. As far as message boards go, maybe I'll just go where the wind takes me, somewhere, out there.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Our Halloween Pumpkin, 2007

We always get a huge pumpkin every year. This is our 2007 Pumpkin.

And here he is on the front porch at night.