Claire and Brianna talk while walking around Harvard.

Outlander 305’s Sunday-on-Saturday Seven

Last week’s post mentioned the ever-increasing fabulousness of each Outlander episode would likely come to an end.  It did.   But we can still count and discuss…

Freedom and Whiskey, Episode 305

1.  It was better than expected

Faint praise for sure.  After all, it featured my least favorite character, while my most favorite character was nowhere to be seen.  (Well, he was likely at Helwater with his new wife and adopted child.)  But this episode sufficiently held my attention upon first viewing so as not to seem to drag.  Nonetheless, I have little desire to watch it again or  listen to any of its podcasts, and no desire to discuss it on message boards.

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Jamie hugs Willie.

Outlander 304’s (Sunday) Seven Thoughts

Season 3 of Outlander just keeps getting better and better.  Episode 301 was great; episode 302, better; episode 303, even better, possibly the best; episode 304, possibly the best, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the streak likely ends here.  The second half of Voyager isn’t nearly as compelling as the first half, falling into some pretty terrible tropes.  Plus, there’s no more Lord John Grey (for a while).

Lord John Grey mourns the departure of his beloved Jamie Fraser.

I, too, am sad Lord John Grey will be leaving us for a while.

And now on to…

Of Lost Things, Episode 304

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Sunday Seven for Outlander 303

[Note:  I had this post finished several days ago, but forgot to publish it by Saturday.]

Outlander covered quite a bit of ground this week, literally, figuratively, and temporally.    Ten years passed for Claire, Frank, and Brianna.  Claire graduated from medical school, Bree from high school, and Frank went to the movies with his mistress.  Only four years (or thereabouts) went by in the eighteenth century, but they were an eventful four-ish years.

Did the episode meet my hopeful expectations?  Absofreakintlutely.  So, let’s discuss

All Debts Paid, Episode 303

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Sunday Seven’s Saturday Edition of Outlander 302

Written by the wonderful Anne Kenney, “Surrender” was everything one could hope for.  And more.  Well, maybe not everything if you were looking for an exact repetition of the book, or took exception to the brown tam not hiding the red hair, or whatever other nitpick you had.  Yeah, this is just my opinion, but it bothers me when people can’t enjoy the forest because there’s one tree they’re unhappy with.  Then again, I want everyone to like everything.

I will miss you next season, Anne!  Your scripts are wonderful.   So here are my thoughts for

 Surrender, Episode 302

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Outlander Is Back! And I Have Thoughts.

Seven of them!

In an effort to try to become somewhat disciplined with my writing, I’m reinstating my Sunday Seven.  And what better way than to discuss Outlander?  Sure, my posts will be a  week late.  But that’s okay.  By this time, all the reviews have been written, the podcasts & vlogs have been published, and discussion of the episode has died down.  What better way to get ready for the latest episode than to refresh our memories of the last episode?

Well, crap!  I forgot that Starz loads the episodes early OnDemand, so I’m already late.  Maybe we’ll make this a “Saturday Seven” in the future.

This is not a list of favorite moments.  Well, some are favorites, others are simply observations, some of which I’ve not seen elsewhere.  On to the thoughts for

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Ravellenic Games Update

It appears I may fail the Ravellenic Games.  Not an Epic!Fail, as the crash of Sergio Henao (Columbia) and Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) in the Olympic cycling men’s road race.  The two cyclists, in a lead group of three riders, crashed in the late stages of the race during the mountain descent.  (I remember reading an article in Bicycling magazine, many years ago when I was actively cycling, when the author tried to scale the Alpe d’Huez, the best-known climb in the Tour de France.  He made it to the top, but hadn’t realized how treacherous the descent would be.  He, too, crashed.)

Hmm, it appears I’ve digressed into a different passion.

After 3-plus days of knitting, I have only 5½ inches to show for my work.

Ugh. Only 5½ inches to show for 3 days’—and several hours’—work.

After thee full days of knitting (today is day 4), I’m still on the spiral 3×3 rib, for a total of 5½ inches.   The entire project consists of 36 inches (for both socks).  At this rate, I’ll have completed only 32 inches by the closing ceremony.  This is my first experience using fingering weight yarn.  Between the super-fine yarn and the teeny tiny needles, progress is s–l–o–w.  I could persevere and work harder/longer, but honestly, I’m getting B.O.R.E.D.

Oh yeah.  And I think I’m allergic to wool.  😦

Actually, I could Epic!Fail if I just give up.  When I started writing this blog post, I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, but now that I’ve discussed my frustration and ennui, I’m much more tempted.  I will finish the socks eventually, because they’re adorable; but I think for now I might switch back to a couple other projects that aren’t wool.

Let the Games Begin!

The Ravellenic Games, that is.

As in Ravelry, the world’s most incredible database of all things yarn and fiber.  The idea is to knit, crochet, weave or spin your way through the Olympics.  You cannot (or rather could not, as the time is in the past) start your project until the opening ceremony in Rio, and must have it finished by the closing ceremony.

The "Do the Twist" tube socks pattern comes from the book "Happy Feet" by Cathy Carron, via Knitting Daily TV.

“Do the Twist,” from Happy Feet by Cathy Carron © 2014

This is my first year as a “Ravthelete,” having never heard of Ravelry before 2015.  I’ve entered the Sock-Putt by trying to make a pair of tube socks with a twist.  The twist is, well, literally, a twist in the 3×3 rib, a brightly colored foot, and little bobbles on the cuff.  The photo on the right shows what the socks are supposed to look like once finished.  The pattern is from the book Happy Feet by Cathy Carron, which I first found on Knitting Daily TV.  (My yarn and colors of choice are shown in the picture above.)

The local yarn shop, fibre space, hosted a Ravellenics kick-off cast-on party last night.  It was a bit of a bust.  NBC didn’t start airing anything until 7:30 (when the official cast-on time was 7:15), and when NBC did begin, it was all that pre-ceremony crap of boring interviews and lengthy commercials.  I have no idea if the ceremonies even started by 9:00 pm, when the store closed and the party was supposed to end.  I left early, having fed the meter for only 1½ hours.

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What’s on Your Needles?

I’m not a focused person.  I start one project, get bored, then begin something else because it haunts my brain.  So now I have several items in the works.  I have finished a few things, but we’ll talk about those later.  This is about works in progress.  Even more so, those projects that are actually on my needles, not the two or three projects that are awaiting assembly.  More on those later, too.

My favorite yarn right now is Homespun by Lion Brand.  It’s not a fancy hand-dyed boutique yarn.  But it is made in America.  It’s fuzzy and nubby, and even the non-variegated colorways host are multi-hued.  It comes in 2 thicknesses, or weights, bulky and super bulky.  Which means projects finish quickly.  Always a plus for the attention-span challenged like me.

I'm using Homespun and Homespun Thick n Quick to make an afghan.

This afghan is already taking longer than 8 hours!

First up is the “8 Hour Throw.”  I’m not following the pattern exactly.  It calls for size 50 circular needles (needed to hold 40 huge stitches).  I already have a pair of straight size 35 needles and refuse to buy another pair of humongous needles.  Instead, I’m making it in three strips, changing the number of rows to get the same approximate size.  At the rate I’m going (only the first two colors of the first strip are done), I’ll be finished by next winter.  Definitely not 8 hours!

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Serendipity @ Midnight

Chris Hardwick awards points to guests for funny comebacks.

Points! [photo from funnyordie.tumblr.com]

Last night The night before last (I’m really horrible about posting in a timely manner!) I was still up late enough to watch @Midnight live. It’s a fairly new quiz-type show on Comedy Central hosted by Doctor Who mega-fan Chris Hardwick.  He poses questions to three guest comedians based on some of social media’s wildest postings.  The guests compete for “Points!” and the honor of “Wins the Internet for the next 24 hours.”  Unless it’s Thursday, in which case the winner gets to claim  for the entire (extended) weekend, until a new winner is declared the following Monday.  Unlike SyFy’s now-defunct The Wil Wheaton Project, @Midnight is hilarious.  (Incidentally, Wil and Chris were roommates at one time.  Scifi nerds, unite!)

The show is so hipster-oriented, I often have no idea what they’re talking about,.  Not so much because of the social media stuff, but because of the slang used.  This ignorance of course, is a product of age, which is something the show loves to make fun of.  To which I say, “Just you wait!”  Heck, if you don’t grow old, something’s happened—and it’s not good.

Nonetheless, I’ve learned many things from watching this show.  One of which is a “furry” is a person with a fetish for dressing up like a stuffed animal, and seeking like-minded individuals for various forms of “social” intercourse.  Which means, of course, there are indeed furry-dating websites.  [All this makes me think I ought to change my “Furries” category here, because that is not what it refers to.]

Anyway, back to the discussion at hand.

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Four(th) Musings

This is my current pedicure. I’d been thinking about getting something American flag-esque for years, and while this isn’t exactly what I had in mind, the intention is clear.  (This is the first time I’ve had nail art done, and it’s a bit distracting.  I’ll probably never do it again.)

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

Q:  Do they have a 4th of July in Great Britain?
A:  Yes they do.  They also have a 5th and a 6th and a….

My dad told that joke way back in… well, Mom was still alive, so it was over a quarter of a century ago.  😮

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

I think I’m finally ready to see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  Apparently I’ve missed the IMAX version, but it’s still being shown in 3-D.  I’m sure it will still be a beautiful experience.  I’ll need to remember to restock my portable tissue supply.  I’ll probably be a mess when it’s over.

This is a red, white, and blue seperator.

On a related note, the Arlington animal shelter had a trio of two-month-old kittens for adoption named Astrid, Hiccup & Toothless.  Toothless was an all black male, Hiccup was a black-and-white female, and Astrid was a cream-colored cutie.  Astrid was spoken for when I visited, and Hiccup & Toothless were adopted shortly thereafter (hopefully together).  Then Astrid returned.  As of now, she’s still shown as being available.  I will likely visit the shelter tomorrow.  Encouraged by Suzanne’s success with Fizzie and Tig, I may have to bring her home.