No furry Friday.

Sorry, guys. I have been too busy this week. Here, have one FF pic.

Posted in Furry Friday | 1 Comment

Ranting (of course, what else is new?), 6/30/22.

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The Oatmeal on religion.

Posted in Rants, various | 3 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday, 6/29/22.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.

Knitting.

As you can see, I have completed the bag part and am now working on the handles. This French Market Bag should be done and felted by the next time you see it.

Reading.

Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam by Lynda Van Devanter. The author, fresh out of nursing school, joined the army in 1969 and was shipped to Vietnam. When she got there her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. She witnessed the war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose injuries were catastrophic. The first third of the book covered her idyllic life before ‘Nam, and the last third was her life after, when she suffered from PTSD. The middle third, wherein she details what she faced during her year in ‘Nam, was a powerful story of the horrors of war. In every war, medicine has surpassed what it was in the previous war, which meant soldiers that would have died now are saved and sent back home with horrific disabilities. Some of those disabilities, like those exposure to Agent Orange, were not formally acknowledged for years (or decades). The author died in 2002 from her exposure. China Beach was inspired by this book. 5★

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial by Debra Cohen. I have made it to the war years. The writer must have been a fly on the wall during many of the scenes; I marvel at the research she must have done. The leading characters are John Gunther, Vincent “Jimmy” Shean, H.R. Knickerbocker, and Dorothy Thompson, all cub reporters as the book opens. In those tumultuous years between the wars, they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Along with the worldly reporting are intimate details about each one’s private life. 4★

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Listening.

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. The story is set in early 1960s Harlem and centers on Ray Carney, who owns a furniture store on 125th Street. His father was a small-time criminal, as are many of his friends and relations. Although he is essentially law-abiding, he is not above stocking the occasional piece of furniture or console TV that mysteriously fell off the truck. I went to a convention in La Crosse over the weekend, which gave me ample opportunity to listen. I am about three-quarters of the way through. The story is enjoyable and entertaining and besides being a good novel is also a kind of sociological analysis of Harlem society, both legitimate and criminal. 4★

Watching.

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We finished season two of China Beach; now waiting for season three to come into the library.

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While we wait for season three of China Beach, we started season six of Outlander. It is such a good show.

Posted in Unraveled Wednesdays | 5 Comments

Saturday stuff, 6/25/22.

Some heroes wear turbans.

I cannot even pretend to know how this works, but it does and could be a game changer.

Posted in Saturday stuff | 2 Comments

Furry Friday, 6/24/22.

Remember, click to embiggen if you cannot read a caption.

First of all, today is Smokey’s birthday. But because I am a crap wife —
and also because he is diabetic — I did NOT make him a cake.

“Is Mommy mad at you?”

Watch out for the cat! (caution: audio NSFW)

Polar bears! In Greenland!

Hoo boy, that’s a lot of cats!

When the child thinks it is still smol.

A cat and a box.

Posted in Smokey | 2 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday, 6/22/22.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.

Knitting.

No new picture of the Big Brown Blob. It is still brown and blobby. I am knitting the handles now. It may be done and felted by next Wednesday. Stay tuned...

Reading.

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Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott. I was expecting this to be a novel, but it turned out to be a collection of essays on fear and anxiety and optimism about keeping the author’s children safe as they grow. There is a turtle that hangs around their yard, and they call him Frank. This book was entirely enjoyable. 3.5★

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Last Call at the Hotel Imperial by Debra Cohen. I picked this out of the pile of library books by my bed, but after 20 or so pages decided it was not appealing to me, so I looked through the rest of the many, many books. None of them had the compelling atmosphere of Last Call. So I picked it up again. It is well over 400 pages and has taken me several nights of reading, and I am still not done. It starts in the early 1920s; I am up to the late 1930s. The writer must have been a fly on the wall during many of the scenes; I marvel at the research she must have done. The leading characters are John Gunther, Vincent “Jimmy” Shean, H.R. Knickerbocker, and Dorothy Thompson, all cub reporters as the book opens. In those tumultuous years between the wars, they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Along with the worldly reporting are intimate details about each one’s private life. 4★

Listening.

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. As I was listening to this one I was doing other things and didn’t necessarily get the entire flow of the plot. But soon I was absorbed by the characters. Set in the early 1960s, this is the story of Ray Carney, his cousin Freddy, and a multitude of other small-time crooks. Whitehead takes us into the Harlem of that time and peoples it with upstanding citizens, more-or-less honest businessmen, and an assortment of shady characters. 4★

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Watching.

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China Beach. We are nearly done with season two; one season to go. This show was so well-done. It shows the various reactions the soldiers and nurses and Red Cross volunteers had to the war and the ways they chose to deal with the chaos and pain.

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Suits. Haven’t watched this for a bit. Hotel Imperial is too good not to keep reading every night.

Posted in Unraveled Wednesdays | 3 Comments

Fiber Monday, 6/20/22.

Okay, enough with the humor. I have a burning question that y’all are equipped to answer.

I plan to knit a baby blanket for my next project, but I am waffling on the yarn type and the colors.

This is the pattern. All garter stitch, super easy mindless knitting. I have looked at a lot of the projects and this is the one I like best:

I like that it does not scream BABY!

I considered using rainbow colors, but the finished blankets using those colors did not appeal to me. I think it could work if all of the colors were grayed or heathered a bit. Also, the yarn needs to be no more variegated than tonal for success.

Now, the difficult choices:

  • The proposed baby will live in New Mexico at 6,000 ft elevation. Summer daytime temps are way hot but tend to cool a bit at night. Winter day temps are pleasant to cool.
  • Given that, I am strongly considering knitting the proposed blanket in KnitPicks Shine Sport, cotton and rayon.
  • I also considered KnitPicks Cotlin, 70% cotton/30% linen.
  • I prefer all natural fibers, but I may have to put up with some nylon, especially if I go with fingering weight.
  • I eliminated worsted weight yarn because it seems to me that it would be too heavy and thick. When Elder Son was born I received a small, machine-knit blanket from a friend; it was fingering weight and I liked that it was so easy to wrap him in it.
  • I am also considering doing it with sock yarn, preferably merino. Pros are machine washable and dryable, an opportunity to use up stash, and an infinity of colorways. Also, wool can provide more subtle colors, as in the blanket pictured above. Cons are it would take roughly forever and possibly be too warm.

If the fact that the baby will be in New Mexico rang a bell in your memory, yes, Elder Son and wife are attempting to get pregnant. It is not a sure thing, given her age (early 40s), but I am nothing if not optimistic. Obviously, no one knows the sex of the potential child yet, so I am looking at non-gendered colors.

Here are the color combos I have put together from the Shine Sport page. In all of them I have put the colorway that would be the narrow stripe when changing from one main color to another either at the bottom or to the right or in the lower right-hand square.

Pastels:

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Neutrals:

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Brights 1:

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Brights 2:

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Brights 3:

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Brights 4:

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Brights 5 (KP Comfy fingering; cotton/nylon):

Clearly, I prefer bright colors, or neutrals because they always look so classy; pastels are anathema, but if everyone else likes them I will suck it up.

Other contenders are KnitPicks Hawthorne multi; for that I think I would use all one colorway, perhaps with narrow stripes of contrasting solids. If I decide price is no object and I want to really, really enjoy the knitting, Malabrigo Sock, Malabrigo Mechita, Valley Yarns Huntington, Dream in Color Smooshy, Cascade Heritage Silk are all (or mostly) merino and have lovely colors. Oh, and what about Blue Moon Fiber Arts? Cascade Ultra Pima (109 colors!)?

Oh, the choices are endless…

Posted in Fiber Monday | 11 Comments

Sunday stuff, Juneteenth, 2022.

Uh-oh, the Kat™ has discovered TikTok.

These might be right tasty.

Juneteenth, a history.

Once you get past the ick factor, this is genius. Just remember to dilute ist 1:1.

I loved Minneapolis when I lived there and even more now.

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Saturday stuff, 6/18/22.

Mapping how to laugh online.

How to lift up a middle schooler.

“She can be cantankerous at times, but she has a lovely sense of humor.

Posted in Saturday stuff | 1 Comment

Furry Friday, 6/17/22.

Remember to click to embiggen if you cannot read the captions.

Posted in Furry Friday | 4 Comments