You may have noticed that I'm not participating in NaBloPoMo this year. This is because I am NOT an idiot (for a change). Not that all you guys out there who are doing it are idiots. It's just that I know I have limits and I'm going to exercise a modicum of intelligence this year. I've got a handful of Big Work Things coming up, will be out of town for some of the rest of this month, along with a mixture of Personal Stuff and exhaustion that will be sucking my mental energy like... some... Big Sucking Thing. (The end of that sentence should be enough to make you glad I'm not littering the information superhighway with unfinished thoughts this month.) This is all to say that posting is probably going to be light for the next couple of weeks and when it does occur, it may just all be a series of grunts, gurgles and otherwise unintelligible nonsense. Until that eventuality comes to fruition, here's a minutiae post.


I had to take my bow in to be rehaired last week and the luthier noticed a problem with the ivory tip of my bow. (This particular bow was made almost one hundred years ago when elephant ivory was still readily available for things like piano keys, billiard balls and George Washington's teeth*.) It was a very small crack in the narrow-most part of the tip, but this is an integral spot in protecting the wood underneath, which has a tiny hairline crack starting to form too, so it really needed to be repaired in the best way possible.

When we were talking about how he would go about approaching this, we came across the little matter of
if we replace the ivory what do we replace it with? Clearly, elephant ivory isn't readily available any more because in recent years, the world has started to realize that hey, elephants are kind of using their ivory and the sale and trade of ivory has been prohibited.

Of course there are lots of bows today that use a high quality plastic for that piece, but in your higher end bows, that tends to throw off the balance and frankly, who wants to put plastic on the end of their one hundred year old bow? Not me, that's who!

Bone is sometimes an option for this piece, but it's not always the best option because bone is much more porous than tusk, so it's not as strong. If the hairline crack in the wood were to expand underneath the tip, which protects it from just that, it would render the bow's worth as only slightly more expensive than a dowel from Home Depot. I have a personal attachment to this bow; it's a nice stick and it was made by the grandfather of an old luthier where I grew up. So I have no desire for that to happen. Bone is right out.**

His suggested material was interesting: apparently in Siberia there are a whole bunch of mastodon buried in the snow that no one's using or cares about too much. I guess scientists have gotten all they can from these fossils and don't care to store them up anymore and they're not really using their tusks, so if you know "a guy who can get it for you," you can get a hunk of mastodon tusk for your very own self and do what you want with it. Especially if what you want with it is to charge someone like me enormous sums of money for a tiny little sliver off that hunk of tusk.

So now, when I look at my bow, I see this angry guy starting back at me:

It's a small price to pay for art.


The Dormouse has had a stubborn ear infection that we are having a bear of a time convincing to pack its bags and hit the road. Originally, I took her to the CVS Minute Clinic because it was a weekend. The physician there prescribed a five-day course of antibiotics, which I filled and then took home. They called us the next day and explained that she'd made a mistake and it should have been a ten-day course. I'd need to come in and pick up "the other half" of her prescription. When I did, they charged me another $35 for a whole new prescription.

A couple of weeks after administering all the meds, the ear infection had never really gone away, so I took her to her pediatrician, who prescribed another ten-day course of a different antibiotic. We had that filled at CVS as well and came home with a bottle, which only lasted four and a half days. So I went back to the pharmacy to ask why a ten-day bottle of suspension only lasted five days and which did I need to do, stop giving it when it was empty or get more. He looked up the records and found that they were supposed to have given me two bottles, but only gave me - and charged me for - one. So he tried to create a whole new prescription for the second five days, which was another $35. I pointed out that I'd had to come back four times for two prescriptions and this was costing me a whole lot more than if they'd filled the correct, $40 prescription each time in the first place and asked - loudly - if this was CVS's new business sustainability plan.

I went home with a free second bottle of meds.


The KoH had a birthday last week and every time the girls asked how old he was going to be he'd answer, "Oh... twenty-one.... plus seventeen years."

So we got him a birthday cake pie befitting a man of his age:


After an aborted attempt to take The KingofHearts out to dinner on his actual birthday that ended up with two punished, crying girls and two adults who finally realized that the best birthday celebration they could muster was putting those two girls to bed early, we finally managed to go out and have dinner at one of those Hibachi Japanese Cook Dinner at Your Table places a few days later. They had Ramune sodas there and I ordered two because the waiter opened the bottle the first time for me and I wanted to do it myself. He told me how he likes to take the empties out in back of the restaurant and break the bottles so he can get the marble out and add to his collection of soda bottle marbles. As he walked away, I looked at the back of the bottle which clearly said, Caution, do not attempt to break open bottle to remove marble. Doing so could result in serious injury or harm. Of course, this is the same bottle that suggested you do not drink the inch long plastic plunger that you use to open the bottle.


Also at the Japanese restaurant, we ordered Tempura Banana and Tempura Ice Cream for desert. I'd never had this before, but it's basically a Japanese version of Fried Ice Cream (an improved version, if you ask me, but I, admittedly, sold that stuff every night for several years back in college and I can't look a Fried Ice Cream square in the face anymore.***)

The ice cream is frozen hard into a scoop and then dipped in tempura batter, then flash fried. Served alongside it, was a similarly enrobed banana. The Dormouse, however, misheard us saying, "Tempura Banana" and thought we were calling it a "Temporary Banana."

We laughed and laughed, because when you think about it, isn't most food inherently temporary?

*Yes, yes, I realize that George Washington's teeth were actually made from Hippopotamus ivory. I'm not sure that makes it better.

**Unless you could make it human bone, cause that would make a good story.

***Don't even ask me how I feel about fried zucchini.