Siege Diaries 1/26/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  What is my mantra today?

Pinky: Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

So maybe that was the problem.

Yoda: Try not!  Do or do not. There is no try.

The word “try” invests actions with a kind of tentativeness, in a way undermining them from the start.  I’m thinking about speech contests right now, because I have one tonight.  I am not going to “try to win.”  That’s the wrong way to look at it.  What I am going to do is give the best speech I am capable of giving.  Whether or not I win is not in my control.  But how well I speak tonight mostly is. There is no “try.”  I will do it.  I can then judge my success on how well I accomplish that goal, but I will have done the thing.

Speech contest over.  First time competing in an online contest.  I rigged things up so I used my external webcam to attach to a tripod, and I was able to put a few online notes up on a music stand to help me keep track.  All of the speakers were excellent, and I finished third–although the speaker I probably liked the best, because of her poetic language, didn’t place.   A good outing, representing my newly-charted Toastmasters club.

Thanks to a friend (who found them in a drawer) I now have in my possession several patterns dating to the 1920s.   Several of them are Butterick patterns–a brand still around today–and include a “Deltor”–which turns out to be their brand name for what we would call an instruction sheet.  A couple of others are “Standard Designer Patterns”, and they call their instruction sheet a “Belrobe.”  One pattern doesn’t have an instruction sheet at all–instead, there are basic instructions on the back of the envelope.  Other interesting bits–the pattern pieces have no markings at all with the pattern piece number marked by perforations.  Most interesting to me, one of the patterns — the Burtterick 1565–included two pieces marked out on newspaper and one piece with an altered neckline pinned on.  The newspaper is from Quebec City and dated December 5, 1927, which seems to be the approximate date of all of the patterns.  I am looking forward to very carefully unfolding these patterns and maybe even sewing one up–they are a 36″ bust size and quite straight cut, so they might just be pretty close for me without alterations.

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And finally, the latest embroidery update.  The shirt is done, apart from some final finishing.  It’s pretty much down to the pants and the bench now.    I do have another small project I want to get done soon, so I may take a brief pause on this to get that one done.