Friday, March 02, 2012

Lurching into 2012

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to say.  I suppose writing the equivalent of one of those much-dreaded Christmas update letters would be the best choice, which reminds me of a parody someone did of those letters wherein all their family members were either in jail, missing following a police chase, or in some other wild crisis.  Some days, now, my life feels more like that parody letter but it's really a mix...


My oldest son married last month, in a lovely, small ceremony in a nice setting, and his wife is a delightful lady.

My daughter is doing fabulously at college and will be graduating this Spring with a 4.0 average and a mother bursting with pride for her.

My youngest son is doing his level best to figure out what college is all about, making lots of new friends, and getting more comfortable commuting.

We have a yarn shop in town now with a great store owner, fantastic yarns, and wonderful knitters to commune with on knit days and nights.  The owner is very patient with me when I've had a bad day and need to stick my head in a bin of yarn to relax.

I have amazing, supportive, helpful, steady friends who are infinitely patient and kind with me, concerned about me and my children, and who have offered so much beyond just their absorbent shoulders.  They even call me frequently to check up on me, commiserate with me, and tell me goofy jokes.

My sister is being really great to me.

I am getting rid of things that I've wanted to get rid of for a long, long time.

I am sleeping better than I have in many years.

Doodle is pretty good at fixing things around the house.

My 14 year old dog is still with us and in relatively good health.  The baby dog is getting better in a lot of ways -- lots of wagging, less submissive weeing, and comes when called (unless there's something more interesting than praise and scratches distracting her).

My parrot is still a riot.

Sad Things:

My spouse decided last Fall that he was done being married, was not kind about it, and left all of us to move in with a new, ready made family.  We are all still hurting.  I could go on, but he doesn't deserve that much of my time or yours.

My stepbrother died in a tragic accident, there was a schemozzle over his remains, and now the post office has lost him as he was journeying to his final resting place.

I am sorting through 30 years of stuff, and sometimes I spontaneously burst into tears.  I have to let go of tangible things as well as intangible things, and I am surprised at the need to grieve over stuff -- not all of it, just some.

I'm having a heck of a time with my teeth, and with divorce pending, cost is a big factor in deciding just how much of a toothless hillbilly I want to be.

I really, really don't have a clue as to what to do in the next phase of my life.  Advocacy has been great, and it's uplifting to help people that way, but I can't kid myself into believing there's a living in doing it.  So.... what next?

There is waaaaaaay too much paperwork involved in a divorce after a 30 year marriage.

I miss my Dad and Stepmom daily, all over again.  A lot.

Odd Things:

I have learned sustained cussing.  I can hold forth with a sparkling blue streak of profanity for several minutes at a time, now -- when I'm alone, of course -- and I find it quite satisfying.

I can't believe the post office lost my stepbrother.  While it's tragic, what comes irreverently to mind immediately is "late to his own funeral", which he would have thought was a riot, too, because he was mellow and had a dry sense of humor.

No one actively or obviously misses my soon-to-be-ex.  It's calmer and quieter and cleaner with him gone.  My kids have said they like it better without all the chaos.  They don't miss the temper storms either.  It's strange.

There actually are magazines dealing solely with divorce.

I thought about having my wedding and engagement rings melted down into a belly button ring.  Not for long, and it was followed by a thought about the symbolism of a nose ring instead.  Also didn't think about that one for long.  Don't even go there to the chest location.  Ouch.  Not.

Anyway, I feel like I'm in limbo -- I'm not particularly sad (the antidepressants I got put on have helped there), I'm not happy, I am, at least, not numb anymore -- that lasted a couple of months.  It's gray and cold outside and a little gray inside, too.  There are no crises, no impending things of particular note, and I'm in the endurance phase now -- doing what I can while things grind slowly through the legal system, and trying to do the best I can today with the tools I have today -- and not stressing out if I have to take some time to simply be and let the feelings roll through and out again.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beautiful and Depressing

Someone posted the link below on a list I read:

Which shows a truly magnificaent ornithopter in flight.  I looked further down the page and spotted the Air Jelly:

And then I wrote this to the list:

I have to tell you that my response is two-fold -- first of all, I am charmed and inspired.

My other response is to want to weep and then visit every single ueber-fanatical fundamentalist church, the US congress, and the RNC headquarters and beat every last son-of-a-b*tch into jelly with a sledgehammer for letting their greed, selfishness, resistance to science, and complete, overwhelming lack of true vision deprive us of being the ones to produce things as beautiful and inspiring on a regular basis. I don't begrudge it to Germany, but I am soul-stressingly sad that we don't do this kind of thing any more, or often, because we have dismantled everything that would have made it possible -- from a national sense of wonder about natural science to an education system that would prepare our children to create magnificent things, and we can't even seem to find it in ourselves to tell ourselves the truth anymore. It crushes me. It f*cking crushes me.

My husband and I would have given our eye teeth and then some, to be a part of that in our younger days. Our children, despite brains and dreams, have little chance, due to shitty preparation and an even shittier political (ie funding and infrastructural support) climate, of being able to participate in the genesis of mechanical/technical wonders.

Where's my goddamned sledgehammer?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stashbusting Continues

I have picked up the crochet hook in order to bust some more stash.  Here's a circular shawl, the pattern for which is here

Done in discontinued Lion Bran AlPaKa, about 12 skeins 50 grams each.  Works up quickly and busts the stash.

Then I looked in my basket, shown in a prior post, and noticed that I had a lot of ugly yarn ends -- they looked fine as accents for whatever I used them for, but they were murky or boring or just butt ugly all on their own and even lumped together in a basket.  So, they had to turn into something.  Something masculine, given the general dark tones.  So here is my mostly wool Butt Ugly Granny Square Afghan:

Strangely, or maybe not, one of my sons has already declared it "Awesome".  I did include 3 50 gram skeins of Herrschner's house brand black acrylic and 2 100 gram skeins of black Encore in the finishing, but for washing and warmth purposes, it's still (Butt Ugly) wool.

I am currently working on one with what seems to me to have the charm of a bulldog puppy -- a little ugly but cute, with screaming red, bowling alley gold, and a nice mocha (of which I am a couple skeins short for a sweater, but there's enough for edging each square), which might turn out comparatively presentable.

Yes, the J sized hook is getting a workout, but the stash is noticeably diminishing!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


I have been absent for a long time. In a few months, I will provide excuses if anyone cares, but mostly, I’ve been incredibly busy working as an independent lay advocate for disabled children. It’s exhausting and rewarding, and there are far too few of us.

But, I have certainly not stopped knitting! It’s my meditation, my Xanax, my Paxil, my whatever. Unless I have a very tricky or very badly written pattern I’m working from, it soothes me, and I need that every day.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:

Here’s a sock yarn afghan in mitered squares (don’t know if I shared this one before):

Here’s a felted red hat and an attempt at a Little Red Hen tea cozy, which looks more like the Loch Ness Monster. I’m still debating about whether or not to make it a long-necked chicken or add fearsome sea monster attributes instead. I’m leaning towards monster.

A very effective tea cozy from a pattern called Nanny Meier’s Tea Cozy . It was a little annoying to work on.

A Charlotte’s Web shawl.

Yet another sock yarn afghan made in long strips for my youngest son, who is holding it up. It really is even, you know how kids are about stuff like this…

I have significantly de-stashed – donating nearly all of my acrylic and/or unloved yarn (17 garbage bags full)

Which left this, plus a chest of drawers full of yarn.

And then there are socks. Always. Socks are my travel project – for waiting in line, in offices, at knitting gatherings – they’re small, they are fun to work on, and they are impressive when bristling with double-pointed needles.

In Chroma yarn…

In Continuum yarn…

There have been a lot more, but I just didn’t remember to take pictures.

I am hoping that as work levels out I can take time to post a little more often than once every couple of years (egad).

I am also on Ravelry, as BoS, but mostly I just hang out there occasionally and goggle at patterns.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


(or “How to get really, really good at ribbing,” or “Stashbuster hat”, or even, “What to do with those sock yarn leftovers”)

I’m pretty sure the title has been a dead giveaway. I see these types of hats all the time, available commercially in a far inferior form. Most sports team hats are of this ilk – a long doubled tube of stockinette stitch with the bottom half of the tube shoved up into the top half of the tube, all gathered together at the top and sewn shut, with a large pompom, and the wearer rolls up the bottom to fit the hat to his or her head. As I said, this is a much inferior version of the handmade type.

In the handmade version, the tube of the hat is made in the ribbing style of your choice, which creates a better fit and a much warmer hat; each end is rounded, not gathered, so there is no need for a pompom, which the wearer may not like; and because there is no sewed portion, the hat is completely reversible. And that’s not even counting how you can customize by yarn weight, fiber type, color, age/size of the person wearing the hat, and so on.

(Two AWTs, on the left is one made with worsted weight yarn, the one on the right is made with sock yarn)

Since I make a great many socks, I always have sock yarn leftovers, which has led to some hard-to-believe projects, like my afghans, but this is a great way to use up even shorter lengths or smaller quantities of leftovers. You can use any weight of yarn, and I really mean that.


Yarn leftovers (sock yarn, about 450 yards/5-6 oz. of bits; with other weights, I’d make sure I had a standard plastic shopping bag of bits). You will just add in as necessary, resulting in very pleasing striping.

Needles ONE size larger than the largest size recommended for that weight yarns, for example, socks are usually on 1’s and 2’s, so use 3’s; worsted weight is generally on 7’s or 8’s, so use 9’s.  Both a set of dpns and a 16” circular needle. If you don’t have a 16” circular needle, you can do the whole thing on dpns, but it will get very dreary after a while, and you might find you like these hats and want to make a raft of them with all your annoying leftovers, so don’t be afraid to go ahead and get the circ.

Sizes: (taken from the reference chart in Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, a book which I think should be on every knitter’s reference shelf)

Preemie 15”
0-6 months 16.5”
6-18 months 18.5”
18 months – 4 years 20”
4 years to adult small 21”
Adult med/large 23”

OR your measured head size


Hat is worked with 10% negative ease because of the stretchiness of ribbing. This causes the hat to fit snugly, but not tightly, and spreads the ribbing attractively.

Swatch a 20 st wide test swatch in your chosen ribbing (1X1, 3X2, whatever). Knit until approximately square. Measure SLIGHTLY stretched (enough so you can see the all the purled stitches, but there is still a moderate amount of stretch left in the swatch).

Thinking it through:

Let’s say my head measurement is 22”. So, with the negative ease, I will want a finished measurement of about 20”.

I swatch in sock yarn, getting a slightly stretched width measurement of just under 3.5 inches. At 20 sts per 3.5 inches, this means I’m at 5.7 sts per inch or about 6 sts/in, rounding very slightly up. That is just fine for a ribbing hat.

I know I will need to increase up to 120 sts for a hat with a slightly stretched final circumference of 20”, in accordance with the negative ease mentioned above. When in doubt, add that extra stitch rather than subtracting it; ribbing is your friend in estimating without resulting in inadvertently creating a hat for a yeti.

Casting On and Knitting:

Leaving a tail of at least 6 inches, and using dpns, cast on no fewer than 4 stitches, depending on the ribbing you’ve swatched for. Join.

Try to avoid casting on too many stitches. I think 10 would be too many because then you have to “drawstring” it shut later. In my example, I cast on 5 for a 3X2 ribbing

1. K one row plain. Next row, K1, increase 1 st M1 style, repeat around. (10 sts)
2. K one row plain, next row, K2, increase 1 st M1 style, repeat around. (15 sts)
3. K one row plain, next row, K1, increase 1 st M1 style, repeat around. (30 sts)

Continue in this manner until you have enough stitches to do ALL the knit stitches in your chosen ribbing. Throw in an extra increase on a plain row if you need to, to make it come out right.

In my case, with a ribbing pattern which uses 3 knit and 2 purl stitches, and 120 stitches total, that’s going to be a total of 24 repeats around (120 sts/5 sts in each repeat = 24 repeats) when I get to the final number. So, I would continue the increasing until I have 72 (all the knit stitches I will need: 24 repeats x 3 knit sts = 72 sts) sts.

1. Knit one row plain
2. K3, M1 around (96 sts)
3. K 3, P1 around
4. K3, P1, M1 around (120 sts)
5. K3, P2 around

Knit in ribbing for an unspeakable amount of time. I am not kidding. Because the hat will be folded inside itself and then have a deep folded brim (which gives you FOUR layers over the ears), it will need to be extraordinarily long. The sheer bulk of all that folding takes up room, too, so it’ll be about 2 and 2/3 times as long as a normal hat measurement.

For example, according to Ann Budd’s book, an adult m/l hat would be 9” from beginning of hat to where you start the crown. For this hat, work 24” from starting point to where you begin the decreases. (The math: 2 x 9 = 18, plus 2/3 of 9 = 6, so that’s 18 + 6 = 24… Please, use a calculator if you want, or just keep inverting it and trying it on your head to prove it to yourself; I do both.)

(The sock yarn toque in all its glory prior to being folded into itself)

Nearly The Last Part:

Before beginning decreases, invert the long tube (which probably looks like a closed sleeve by now) so that you are looking at the wrong side of the cast on end, pull the yarn tail through to the inside of the hat, and weave through the starting stitches, pulling tight if necessary, and tie off. Just leave the string hanging there on the inside – no need to weave it in; you’ll never see it again.


Basically, you want to mirror the way you increased. Again using my 3X5 ribbing of 120 sts as an example:

1. K 3, P2 tog around (96 sts)
2. K3, P1 around
3. K2, SSK around (72 sts, all knit)
4. K around
5. K 1, SSK around (48 sts)
6. K around
7. K 2, SSK around (32 sts)

Etc. This does lead to a very rapid decrease, just as it led to a very rapid increase at the beginning. If you don’t like it, feel free to adjust with another variation, your choice. Sometimes I change it around myself, like using a slower increase/decrease w/ a swirl pattern.

When you have decreased to the same number of stitches that you cast on, cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail, pull through, tighten, tie off securely, and pull the tail into the inside of the hat.

You now have a long tube, closed at both ends, and it looks like I’ve been playing knitting pranks on you because it’s MUCH too long to be a hat, right? Grasp it in the middle, put your hand at one end, and shove that end all the way inside the other side of the tube. Fold from what is now the opening (at the former middle) up about 1/3 of the way up the hat and put it on your head, adjusting the doubled bottom edge according to your tastes.

Warm enough to keep you toasty while waiting at a Chicago bus stop for your bus, which, in accordance with Murphy’s Law of Buses, does not arrive for 45 minutes. If you’re also wearing handmade wooly socks inside your boots, you’ll seem as tough as an Emperor penguin, babysitting its egg at the Antarctic, to all your freezing, envious bus stop cohorts. Heh, heh, heh!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

In case no one noticed, it's been a while since I've posted. There are reasons, which are also excuses, and maybe someday (if I continue to post) I'll explain them. Meanwhile, it's time for a little snark.

This year, I have only one child left in public school (happy dance, happy dance). The high school he attends has instituted "Sustained Silent Reading" for 25 minutes, three times a week. I could go on about how useful I think this is at the high school level, but I would bore myself just writing about it. And, in general, I think letting kids read what they want to read for extended periods of time without interruption is a good idea; we certainly do plenty of it at home and always have, and it's something each and every one of my children has rejoiced over when they attend WeeM with me ("I can sit in the lobby and read and no one bothers me! Wow! It's almost like being at home.").

For the sake of form, I will also mention, whilst mentally looking off to the side as a diversionary maneuver, that this is a loss of 75 minutes per week of instructional time (ack!) on the block schedule. Ahem. However, in the general realm of theory meets reality, I'm OK with SSR, since most teachers use the last half hour of their classes as study hall for the kids to do their homework, so the kids aren't losing anything they weren't deprived of already.

Last month, though, my youngest came home very disgruntled. His PE class was having a free day. Apparently, during a free day in gym, you can throw a dog toy back and forth with other children, which is called "Throwtron", pick some other activity, or wander in a large circle around the gym for 90 minutes. He chose to wander in a circle, and, because that would generally be considered quite supremely boring, he decided to read while wandering. There weren't a lot of other children wandering -- I guess the lure of chucking a dog toy was too much for some of them to resist -- and he was ambling happily and quietly around, reading.

After a short while, the student teacher noticed, came tearing over and told him he wasn't allowed to read.

Take a moment to let that one soak in, please. He wasn't allowed to read. In a school diverting 75 minutes per week of instructional time to a schoolwide policy to encourage reading, my son was not allowed to read during non-SSR time while walking in a circle. Keep letting that soak in.

He asked why and was told it just was not permitted, and he would not be allowed to listen to an MP3 player or Walkman unless he was Power Walking either. So, he put his book aside and continued to amble around in a circle.

Later on, the staff teacher came over and, in a very intimidating manner, asked him why he was giving the student teacher a hard time. He was gobsmacked by this accusation, and, as far as he remembers, just stood there not speaking, at which point the coach/teacher advised him that it was a safety hazard and he was not to do it again. Let that one soak in, too, reading is a safety hazard when you are walking in a fairly lightly populated circle of very few other children who have opted to wander around rather than chucking pet toys at each other's heads.

Now, I don't dispute the teacher's point -- perhaps one of the knuckle-dragging mouthbreather types who might have been participating in a more hazardous activity would have lobbed a dog toy off to the side and clonked my nerdling on his unobservant head. I cannot figure out how that would be my nerd's fault rather than the fault of the mouthbreather, but he still would have wound up being clonked. Perhaps a more exuberant Power Walker would have been distracted by wild lyrics and a driving heavy metal beat on his/her MP3 player and stomped right over my son, which, again, would not have been my son's fault, but he would still wind up with sneaker marks on his back.

And, just to put a cherry on the top of this sundae of dissonance, he received an F for the day for participation. For wanting to quietly read while engaged in a boring physical activity and asking why he was not allowed to read. Beware the scary, non-conformist, bibliophilic nerd; he is a silent lurking hazard.

When Doodle regaled us with this story, my daughter started shaking her head and reminded us of a similar incident that happened to her while she was in the same high school. She was taking dual credit college courses at school, which started a little later, and which were not offered every day. On her off days, she would go to the school library to read, look over homework, and make quiet, productive use of her time.

She would enter the library, find a table near the back, open up a book and start reading or maybe look out the window. For the first couple of weeks, the library staff kept coming over and asking her what she was doing. She told them, and they would just stand there looking at her for a minute. Perhaps they thought she was going to burst into flame or offer them illicit drugs. Mostly, they didn't believe her. And the reason they didn't believe her is that this was aberrant behavior for students in a school library. Take another moment and let that one soak in, too -- a student using extra time to go to the library and read is an anomalous behavior in the school.

They did stop coming over to find out what she was up to after a while, but then spent time just staring at her from their desks/safety positions near the emergency hotline (or whatever), in case she did spontaneously combust or begin dancing the tarantella on the tables, thereby disrupting the other students who.... weren't there. In fact, in a year of going to the library on her off days, the only time other students came into the library was when an entire class came in with the teacher to do a specific project, during which time they were invariably noisy, obnoxious, and didn't concentrate on what they were supposed to be doing.

After this happened a couple of times, she decided to leave a few minutes before the bell and go get her stuff from her locker and make sure to be at her first class a little early. That worked out fine until she got caught being in the halls before the bell, screamed at by a teacher, and sent to the office for disciplinary action...for going to her locker early to get her supplies so she could be early and prepared for class. Let that one soak in, too.

I suppose you'd need to know my daughter to understand why this is possibly the most ludicrous, inexplicable response to her actions -- people smile when she comes into a room because she is a happy, quiet person. She is generally teacher's pet in every class, including the professors she has in college. She is calm, diligent, intelligent, does her homework before it's due, respects teacher time, follows directions, checks her resources, thinks deeply about issues, gives measured and worthy responses to questions, and, so far, has a straight A record in college. Her professors invite her out for a smoothie in the Caf when they need cheering up. They tell her they appreciate having her in class. They give her sweatshirts, hoodies, and free lockers just because she is so swell. She's allowed to use their personal equipment without supervision because she's so darned trustworthy and sensible. And she has always been this way.

So, for the very first time in 13 years of public schooling, her first and only disciplinary referral was because she was doing something as threatening to life as we know it as... getting her class supplies early so she could be early and prepared for class.

Somehow, somewhere, the educational industry has lost sight of reality and has completely forgotten the underlying principle to encouraging good habits and behavior.

It's pretty simple, really, "Reward the behavior you wish to encourage."

I suggest they start taking notes. There will be a quiz.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do the Funky Chicken

It’s cold and snowy and about to get much, much colder and much, much snowier. So, like all chronic knitters, my fancy has turned to felting. I have two hats and one Secret Project in the laundry room awaiting felting. I couldn’t wait for messing with a felted something, though, because, for a person who makes things stitch by stitch, I have surprisingly little patience, so I found an old felting project from a previous arctic cold spell and decided to make use of it immediately.

It was a misbegotten attempt at a project bag, and I know exactly why it was so ugly and awful. I was trying to use up two ugly, awful yarns that I had acquired somehow, and I couldn’t think of what to do with them. One was a speckledy purple with some twiggy bits still in it, and the other was someone else’s first attempt at dying yarn – purple and green and splotches of white. I kept shoving them to the bottom of the theoretical project basket until finally I thought “striped felted bag” and cast on, knit like crazy until I was nearly out of each yarn, then I flung it in the washer over and over until I hated it enough to lose it in a laundry basket. I then brought it upstairs and lost it in my husband’s clutter for a year or so. It got moved around for another year, always at the bottom of some pile we didn’t want to deal with, but it escaped a week or two ago, and whispered, in its croaky, hoarse little green and purple voice, “do something with me”.

So, I decided to make a felted tea cozy out of the top half, and maybe use the bottom half for a smaller project bag. I cut 10 inches off the top of the bag, so that I wouldn’t back down and hide it again, and then browsed around on the net for ideas. I kind of figured I wanted a chicken cozy of some sort, but I was looking for a simple enough idea so that I could cut it out, sew it (I am sewing impaired), and make it look reasonably chickeny. I had some success, cut out a rough chicken shape, then realized it was going to need eyes, a beak, a comb, and probably a hanging loop. I crocheted everything but the eyes, and then I found two slightly stoned looking two-tone buttons in my sad little sewing basket, which would do for crazed chicken cozy eyes. Below is the result, which I am pleased to say, everyone one in the house immediately recognized as a chicken, however the follow-up question was, repeatedly, “Why is it purple and green?”

Should you become possessed by the need for a felted chicken cozy and have some unloved felted material around, my rough working outline was as follows:

1. Piece of felted knitting, 20 inches long by 10 inches high; fold in half for a 10 inch square; cut out general chicken shape

2. With about 6 yards of crochet kitchen cotton crochet a beak (ch8, sl 1, sc to end, cut and draw yarn though), a comb (c8, turn sl 1 in first st, in next st * 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1dc, 1hdc, in next stitch 1 sc *, repeat twice, end with sl st in last chain, bo) and a loop (ch 15)

3. Turn chicken inside out, sew from tail across back, inserting and sewing loop at midback (make sure it will hang out on the right side), sew to beginning of top of head, insert comb and do similarly, then about halfway down the chicken face, insert the stub of the beak and sew it in, then sew the chicken breast.

4. Turn right side out and display proudly to family. Fits fairly snugly over a 3-4 cup (or smaller) teapot.

And, it really, really keeps the tea warm. My first test drive included going off to do something else for 2 hours and coming back to tea still warm enough to be soothing and fragrant. If I were given a do-over, I’d make it a couple of inches wider, but it is just the right height.

Which leads me to my Secret Project – a Little Red Hen Cozy. Again, I have some unloved red yarn, and lots of it, in my stash. I’d already made a dog sweater for Gracie from it, as well as a hat awaiting felting for me, and there was still a bodacious amount of yarn left. I have done all the knitting on the LRHC, but I’m going to wait until it’s been felted before publishing. I should probably ‘fess up here and admit that I have a general chicken theme to my kitchen, which so far includes some pictures of cheeky roosters, a ceramic rooster, a wooden speckled hen, and some chicken dishtowels. And a chicken tea cozy now, too.

More Knits

I was sick with bronchitis for most of the holidays, but I can’t stand to have idle hands, so I made, as I mentioned in a previous post, another Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl.

It came out pretty nicely, too. The blues look much more differentiated in tone in person. The sequence is medium blue, marled blue (one strand each of dark, light and medium blue), and light blue, with dark blue in between each section and all around the border.

Oddball Word of the Day

ablation (ab-LAY-shehn): n. a wearing away, as of a glacier by erosion or the nose cone of a rocket by the heat to high-speed reentry into the atmosphere

(from the guide to MMMW edited by Laurence Urdang)