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May 18, 1999
a year ago

Avalanche!

So, yeah, it was a great game to watch. Really intense. After having seen the two games that that Avalanche started this series with, it was like night and day. Roy was just inhuman, and the Red Wings really got one good series going late in the game, getting two goals within about as many minutes. That was really interesting to watch because the Avalance players didn't get mad, didn't get upset, didn't start doing all the stupid mistakes they started the series with. They just played.

There was one goal by Foresburg after that two-goal hit that was just pure will, guts, and power. Everyone was tired by the third period because the Detroit ice was a slaggy mess with the humidity and heat in Detroit. The ice wasn't holding anyone, and it was soft and we could see people just falling down all over the arena when they tried to put an edge into the ice and the ice didn't hold. And Foresburg gets this breakaway, just him with one defender doing everything he could to foul him and get him *down* and he just wouldn't go down. He pulled the puck at the very last instant, made Osgood commit, and then slid it past the goalie just before, finally, going down as the defender was using his entire body weight, the stick, everything to pull him down. He and the defender then slid into the net on top of Osgood, but the light was on and the Avalanche players were dancing all around.

That was very, very sweet indeed.

Had a fairly short day at work. Meetings as planned, detailing more things as planned. We got in early, left early to see the game. I left the herb seeds out to get sunshine, and I soaked 'em pretty good before leaving. That was cool, the opal basil is coming up and the leaves are this intense purple that glows in the sunlight because of a light furring of the tiny leaves. They are really gorgeous, and I'm careful to soak 'em with water early and late to keep them moist and happy and growing.

The short day meant that I pretty much had to bag trying to bike and shower and stuff. I'll probably to that tomorrow.

I did, however, call Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and they have a bit of a residency dependency that, when I really thought about it, makes a lot of sense in a number of ways. I've only lived here a month, and it is still hard to find everything that I want to find, and I still don't know where most things are, yet. So having a year residency requirement seemed to make a lot of sense. They also, it turns out, have a tutoring program, but it's mornings on the weekdays in schools, so I really can't do that. So, instead, I'm giving 'em money for the nonce, and I'll probably join up with them later.

I'm still fighting, internally, as to whether or not I funked out. With my references, there was some chance of them by-passing the requirement, but there's enough of me that's still unsettled, still figuring things out that it was probably a wise thing anyway. I'm also wondering if it was more my sense of what I ought to do rather than what I really want to do, but that's going to take some work on my part to see what I really can figure out.

After the Ave's game, John played Bandicoot while I happily carved away at the tempered quills I'd created over the weekend. I took an empty tuna can, filled it with sand, stuck it in the toaster oven set for 350 degrees for about twenty minutes, pulled the can out of the oven, and then stuck the quills into the hot sand until it cooled again. I tried it on both cut quills and on an uncut feather. All the cut nibs split further, as the material shrunk, so I had to re-cut them; and I wanted to cut the tempered feather. I think I'm going to have to make a page on quill cutting and splitting, someday, with pictures, as after the tip is tempered the splitting goes quite a lot more smoothly and the tube's just a bit easier to cut into a nice sharp point that lasts for a good deal longer than the points did before. There is a tradeoff point, though, where the point is narrow enough to hold a writable nib for a while, but it can't be too narrow or it starts flicking ink whenever it catches on the paper. That's the tricky bit.

With the digital camera it should be a lot of fun to make up a sequence for cutting quills with details and how it should feel after its been cut properly and what to do about mistakes and how to get it to write anyway. The low-res setting should be plenty for low-detail, close up shots of the process. The technical book wasn't very good about how, so much as what to cut and some of the order details. But 'cutting' and 'carving' have different physical aspects to it, and the wording that some references have picked have been making me grumpy. Like if you really want the split in the nib to work, you can't cut it, not with a Xacto knife or anything, the material of the quill tube splits beautifully with a split small enough and narrow enough that the capillary action is perfect for ink. Cuts can't do that, as the material doesn't come back together quite as neatly.

That said...

I almost won another fountain pen on Ebay, and realized, nearly as soon as I bid on it, that I really didn't want it. Oops. Luckly someone bailed me out and it turned out that the value of the pen went up nearly twice what I bid on it, so that was definitely safe for me. I'll fix what I get, when I get it and that may well be that. I'm having way too much fun with the quills, especially after finding that the shape of the tube once it gets feathered fits the fingers and the hand really, really well, nearly better than some of the grips sold on the market today, and there's nearly no pen I've used that's lighter than a feather. Hee

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