Sunday, February 12, 2017

Three Busy Weekends

For stay-at-homes, we've been doing *way* too much driving lately, especially on weekends.

At the end of January was a gun show--at least that was local.  Guns are Bob's thing, so I usually don't go.  But this time he asked me to go along.  I eventually figured it out--there are 4-5 gun shows a year, and he goes to all of them, and every time he comes home and says "I almost bought a new .45--but they're really expensive.  It sure was nice."  What he wanted was for someone to say "So go ahead and buy the damned thing."  So I did, and he did.  He has a couple of .45s, but they're old--as in nudging 100 years old.

But watching it be sold to him was interesting.  He was looking at one of the tables of guns--the guns are covered with a large piece of nylon net, which allows customers to see them without being able to casually pick them up.  It was a family-owned business, and a little girl of about 8 or 9 years old came over to him, and in her lisping little-girl voice said "May I help you sir?"  Bob said that he was looking for a .45 acp (and there was some other stuff but it's so much wah wah wah) to me.  She listened carefully, reached under the net, and handed one to him, explaining the features.  She showed him a couple of others, shooing off her sister who came over to help.  The wee munchkin really knew her stuff and successfully made the sale.  (no pictures--I'm no sure how I feel about posting a picture of someone's little girl holding a honkin' big gun).  But I did compliment the mother on her daughters (turns out that the 13-year-old is a licensed shooting instructor).  But *that's* how to raise kids--to be competent, confident, and contributing members to the family.

I did buy myself a little gift--for some reason I was taken with this small hand-forged knife (it's about 4" long).  The blade was made from a recycled coil spring from a car.  What I like is what might be considered a flaw--the rough inclusions at the top of the blade.  But to me it's like the sculptors who leave a bit of unhewn stone in their statues--something that shows the history of the piece.  (it lives in the kitchen now as a super-sharp paring knife)

Last weekend was a drive to Gainesville to go to the Renaissance Faire (again--I wrote about it last year).  I don't know why Tallahassee doesn't have anything like this.  We did, years ago, (a Celtic festival, a Colonial Faire) but they've all faded away so now it takes a 3 hour road trip.  Ren Faires are fun--lots of people in costume, some amazing, others--well, the people enjoy wearing them, but it makes you think of a kid wearing a bathtowel for a cape and thinking he looks like superman).  Lots of shows and acts.  One amazing one that culminated with the acrobat bouncing on a huge pogo stick, then doing a backflip off of it over a fireball (which he blew from his mouth as he jumped).  Pretty impressive.  Made me think of a ren fair a few decades back, when Bob and I sat on similar benches in front of a similar small stage, watching two young juggler/magicians.  One was tall and loud and obnoxious, the other completely silent.  They were quite good.  Wonder if now, all these years later, I could get a front row seat at a Penn and Teller show for a dollar tip?
And, of course, where else could you buy a wench costume or a suit of armor, or watch someone make glass figures (which didn't really interest me, but I loved his dragon blowtorch), or get a hug from a sweaty knight?

Finally, yesterday we went to Jacksonville (another 3 hours away) for Jax Con, a scale-model making conference.  We wanted to be there by a bit after 9 so Bob could submit his models (in addition to his usual tanks and jeeps he had a Triceratops and a scratch built spaceship) and go shopping before things got picked over.  He also took a bunch of model kits (that he knew he would never build) to sell.  I have to admit to having a bit of a sinking sensation after getting up that early and driving that far and helping him carry stuff in when by 11:00 he had submitted and shopped and was pretty well finished.  Problem is--the judging wouldn't be over and the winners announced until 5:00.  I smiled bravely, pulled out my knitting, and manned his sales table.  After all, he puts up with my stuff . . . .

(Besides, his model-making friends are a nice group and I enjoyed chatting with them)

Reading:  (yes, I usually  have 2-3 books going.  Depends on my mood)

Finished "Prehistoric Textiles" and am now on "Woven Into The Earth" about early Norse textiles.  The poetic title refers to the tree roots that have grown into the graves and woven the grave goods and remains into the earth.

Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder.  A collection of essays.  I've read a couple of her books (she writes about self-sufficiency and living lightly on the earth) and I like her writing style, but this one has been a bit of a slog.  A lot of the essays are about social consciousness (yes, good, but not particularly light reading) and the ones on the beauties of the natural world have a bit of doom-and-gloom to them because so much is being destroyed.  Sort of like showing a picture of a cute puppy but reminding us that it will get old and die in a dozen years.

Njal's Saga.  As long as I'm reading about Norse textiles, I might as well enjoy some ripping yarns about the Norsemen (and women) who wore them.


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