Monday, July 28, 2014

The rumors of our deaths...

Nope, we haven't dropped off the map! Lisa was just way tired after her trip and a little oppositional defiant...

and we didn't communicate too well about who was writing last week.

We are both feeling some what better now...

Now Lisa's expression looks more like this...

but, you know... with more face and less veggies.

The veggies are from our garden this year. The red 'matoes are a grape tomato and Roma cross breed that seems to be doing well (for some reason we do great with the cherry/pear/grape tomatoes but the bigger ones are problematic. We have Jalapenos (obviously) and two kinds of Cayennes (Yellow and Dragon). The yellows are coming out quick and plentiful. There are a lot of the others but they're taking longer to ripen.

In other news I've been doing a lot of work on the ward list for church (it's approximately forty people shorter now because I've actually been putting the research in to move out people who aren't here rather than being another in a long line of hand wringers). By the way any one out there dealing with records... At least learn to spell the name of your city... In addition to addresses in Pocatello I had addresses in Pocotello and Pocetella (Not to mention the one in Idaho Falls and the one in Downy...). And don't get me started about streets (too late... Garfield, N Garfield, N. Garfield, No Garfield and NGarfield may all translate the same in someones mind but not on the computer!)

Lisa has been invited to teach another class, which we are thinking about, but it would be a pain when added to the stuff she's already doing (she would like to graduate next year...)

We both have shop and writing projects going that are pretty cool, but I'm going to play those close to the chest until we have more definite info on publication and or finished pieces to show. I will say I'm getting some fun reactions to the Stainless Steel Belt project and mostly to the positive. As for the one guy who made a negative comment so far...Jealousy is ugly bub...

Well, that's it for this week. 
Hopefully Lisa will be back next week with conference adventure stories...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beginnings, Middles and Ends!!!

And yes  there is a point to the title!

Lisa is leaving at 3:30 AM tomorrow morning for a conference in Florida. I'm not going... I been there, there aren't a whole lot of cool rocks there, and her air fair is paid for, mine isn't...

The product of this conference is a book chapter. So, congratulations to Lisa on a book chapter publication!

Meanwhile back up here in the North West, I'm working on both fiction and non fiction projects that are going to benefit from four days of total or near total control of my schedule!

So there is a beginning a couple of middles and an end...

Another key middle. I solved a rock polishing mystery. The finish quality of some of the stones I was polishing took a nose dive recently, and I was having trouble figuring out why. Even a return to the good 600 silicon carbide didn't help :(    . It turns out that the problem was I had way too many pieces of slabs in some of the recent mix (an artifact of the stuff that didn't go into the reunion mix (most of that mix will work better as there are fewer slabs)). The problem was in the middle (literally!). The problem is if you have too many flat slabs they stack up on each other and mess with the polishing action. This was undetected in the coarse and medium because the flat sides were already smoothed to that level. But it was a problem in the fine and polish. Solution, less slabs more funny shapes (which isn't a real problem, I have another use for slabs...). I mention this one because its a problem that I really haven't found talked about anywhere, so I felt it might be worth passing on the information.

And now one big middle and two ends!

I finished my chain mail belt on Saturday!

It's big enough for me to wear (see I told you it was a big middle!!!) and on the heavy side. It is European six in one chain (six in ends up using twice as many rings and weighs twice as much as normal four in one). There are roughly 2200 5/16 inch steel rings in there plus a few smaller ones and a buckle. I've already found my first modification for next time... I'm adding a couple bronze rings near the non buckle end to help find where the holes for the buckle are. So, fashion accessory, marketing tool, gym equipment, all in one!

Once I thought a snake skin belt would be cool, but the chain mail has a similar pattern and is much easier to care for (it is stainless steel). It also has the virtue of never being to big or to small. When I loose weight I make it shorter, if I gain (trying not to!) I add some (which makes it heavier and helps me loose weight!)

This one is just three little items, but I have to be up in the morning to help Lisa get to that plane...
Good luck, 
take care, 
and if she isn't carried off by a mosquito... 
Lisa will be back next week.

Update: <Tuesday morning>  Lisa is safely on her way. I have discovered that we have a 24 hour McDonalds in town (don't know how that figures into future adventures but...) and since I don't recall a joke in this post... if I put that new belt around my 'spare tire' does that make it a steel belted radial?

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Rocks Rocked!

As Patrick said last week, I will be jumping back in and doing some of the writing.  I have been doing lots of writing, but that has been more in the vain of homework, dissertation preparation, article summaries, an article for publication (on the first round of edits back from the copy editor!) and a book chapter.  So, now that I feel I can breathe (last coursework concludes on Friday!) you'll get to "hear" from me too.

As we thought about the family reunion, we wanted to share our love of rocks with the nieces and nephews.  If you have been reading, you have seen snapshots of our preparation and some of the cool rocks that were included in the activity.  I know that at least one niece has created something amazing with her rocks.

I did not always like rocks.  Didn't really think much about them.  My dad has a box of rocks in the garage.  I mostly remember the lava rocks with the holes and that they were really light. (And that my brothers hammered some nails into them - as kids that was pretty cool - hammering nails into a rock!) Turns out my great-grandfather had a full lapidary shop and one of the grandmothers on the other side of some of the nieces and nephews is also a rockhound.  I'm not sure if there is a genetic connection, but it does make you wonder.

So, why do I like rocks, now?  I will get some pictures of some of my favorite rocks to better illustrate this in the future (camera took a dive, so no new pictures for a bit).  For now, it will just be words.  As you look at all the different kinds of rocks - agate, amethyst, geode, bloodstone, moss agate, aventurine, jasper, etc. - you get to see all the creative wonders of our world.  Some of my favorite rocks remind me of the pictures of stars and galaxies with all their layers of color.  There are lots of various factors that are required to create some of these amazing beauties and some we still are sure exactly how the water got into the rock to create the beautiful layers.  Petrified wood is also one of my favorites.  My dad is a general contractor so I have grown up around wood, and I love seeing the textures of wood in beautiful agate colors and clear quartz and eval opalized!

I loved watching everyone go through their rocks.  And I think we even surprised some of the adults, as we brought bags for them too!  Rockhounding is definitely a family affair!  There are no age limits, and often the smaller fingers and short statures are better at finding the good stuff!

Sometime in the afternoon, someone asked my dad if he still had that box rocks.  He does.  Perhaps the fact that my mom searched through two bags, indicates that she will maybe let that "old" box of rocks come out of the dark and dusty garage to be shared again.

Here are some pictures we took throughout the day!